foldare kk pre flop betting

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Foldare kk pre flop betting how to buy bitcoins for darknet

Foldare kk pre flop betting

Moral of the story Trihonda Straight Flush Moderator. Supporting Member. I've folded KK, and would have folded AA in the same situation At another table, there a couple ppl with close to bbs. They were in continual jeopardy of busting. There's no reason to chip up, just survive! I folded KK in this spot. A guy with 8bbs shoves with aces, and got 6 callers. He busted out, and the guy with 1bb left at the other table wins a main event seat, lol.

Yup, tournament play is different. I remember folding Queens once in a tournament. After I put in a big raise preflop, another guy put in a big reraise and the next guy reraised him. I got the hell out. But I was pretty bummed when the a Q came on the turn or the river. You made the right call. I would have done the same. Live players are a funky bunch.

Tournaments are a different story. Maybe in a very rare bubble situation or a weird massive multiway as described above, that's about it. Joined Oct 28, Messages 10, Reaction score 10, Your hand is an autoplay at these stakes and that depth. I've folded kings twice preflop ever. Right once, wrong once. Multiple smarter poker players than me have observed that you could go through your entire poker career never folding kings preflop and at worst it would be a wash. My massive sample size of 2 demonstrates that nicely.

The real way to answer this question is to re-ask it in a different way: "Given the opponent, stakes and relative stack sizes would you be willing to play for your whole stack with pocket kings? MoscowRadio Flush. I agree with what pretty much everyone has said.

Just shove pre-flop because you're gonna have to do it on basically every flop. You have no fold-equity and your opponent is getting around 2. Psypher 4 of a Kind Supporting Member. Of the five times I recall seeing it, they only help up once and left their holder either felted or severely crippled the other four times. Everywhere else, rock'em. Trihonda said:. Easy fold with AA under those conditions. BGinGA said:.

WillAndrew Pair. Trihonda and BG is referring to the situation described in Trihonda's follow-up paragraph in a bubble tourney spot, quoted in your post. Not the cash game OP. Maybe a colon would have made it clearer. They're right. You're right. WillAndrew said:. Oh ha, no, yours is nuts. I hope I never see that, even if I'm on the Kings end. I would feel like I'd have to pay a little back to the guy. You must log in or register to reply here. Similar threads. Legend Jan 19, Poker Strategy.

Replies 26 Views Jan 20, bluegill. Or easy? Legend Jan 20, Poker Strategy 2 3 4. Replies 96 Views 2K. Jan 21, Legend Jimulacrum Oct 29, Poker Strategy 2. Replies 35 Views Nov 9, Moxie Mike. Replies 31 Views Nov 17, MathijsVS. Replies 43 Views Sep 16, boltonguy. Top Bottom. Instead what you should do is bet, but not a huge amount. Number one, if you are in fact against an Ace, the person is going to call any amount. If you aren't against the Ace, there is no reason for anyone to call.

I use this same logic for all flops that look scary including when the flop is all one suite or if there is a chance of a straight on the board. You can also use this strategy when you flop an over-card. Let's say you have JJ and the flop is K You could bet the pot here but betting a smaller amount works just as well. If the person doesn't have a King they won't call, if they do have the King I consider the hand lost so why risk more then I have to?

If you are in early position and have a crappy hand like KJ and flop something like KT5 and six people are behind you left to act, chances are you aren't going to win this one. Understanding this can save you from getting committed to pots that you shouldn't.

If you play a lot of hands in no limit, which I suggest you do because it is fun and rewarding, you need to be more apt to fold them unless you catch something big. Getting stuck with a marginal hand like KJ and KQ and betting it down is bad no limit poker.

You'll lose a lot this way. Confusing People Is Profitable- Whenever you can make someone think you have a hand that you don't, you end up making money. In limit poker you don't have the arsenal of tricks you do in no limit. I'll list a few tips here that I've used to milk people for more then my fair share. The first tip is the all mighty over-bet. Over betting is when you bet too much -- you bet an unreasonable amount of money in relation to the pot.

It's hilarious how confusing it is to people when you do this. Their first assumption is that you are trying to bully them because why on earth would you be betting that much if you really did have a good hand? Wouldn't you rather bet less and get called? You can do this pre-flop or on the flop and after. Sometimes I'll just throw in a massive raise pre-flop with Aces or Kings just for the hell of it. I would say probably a quarter of the time I get a caller. Also sometimes if I have a set or two pair I'll bet a large amount on the flop, then slow down on the turn, and then big huge on the river.

That also confuses people. Once again they assume I'm trying to bully them. Another trick I use now and again when I'm in early position and flop a big hand is to bet a decent amount on the flop and get raised by someone. Then I just call. Then on the turn card instead of checking I bet another amount but smaller then before.

It looks like a weak move so the other guy raises me more this time which is exactly what I wanted. Sometimes I'll do this when I flop trips and someone has an over-pair like Aces or Kings. Let's say I have 89s and the flop is By betting a little on the flop I look like I'm trying to bluff him out but don't have the balls to make a big bet. So he raises me and then when I just call it confirms to him that I don't really have a 9.

Then the bet on the turn again seals the deal. Changes in initiative are always really confusing to people. Initiative is the term for describing who is doing the betting, who is in the drivers seat in the hand. The flop comes back and the flush draw is there. You bet and get called. The turn card brings the flush. What do you do?

You have a lot of options but I only use one. If you check and the person bets, what does that mean? You have no idea and if you just call then you leave yourself wide open to be bet out of the pot on the river. Instead of checking, I bet. I bet a decent amount but not a huge amount. Note how in no limit hold'em, you have to double the size of the first bet if you want to raise. Did I remove the chance of me being bluffed out of the pot? No I didn't, but I've made it more expensive for the player behind me to try that move.

Also if he does raise me, I could very well also have the flush and re-raise him. I use this tactic for a lot of situations where the community cards are crazy and I'm not sure "where I'm at". It may cost a bet if the person actually does have the hand but it keeps me in the pot if they don't. This is another example of why position is very powerful in no limit.

If you are behind someone and some scare cards come out, you can easily take the pot from them. My most favorite opponent is the big bettor. They will raise pre-flop, then religiously bet the size of the pot in each betting round. It will only be a matter of time before I get their chips because it will only take one good hand before they will commit all their money to the pot.

What I do against these types of players is just let them do all the betting. I limp in, call their raise, call their flop bet and then they usually go all-in on the turn card. Aggression is good in no limit hold'em but also remember that every chip in action is a chip you have to win back. For some reason these types of players don't understand that you do actually have to have a hand once in a while to win.

The next opponent I like playing against is the really loose player who calls any size of bet pre-flop. Next, I love playing with wild players who like to raise every other hand. They are great for the game. They often get everyone off balance and people begin to play poorly. When you are playing with a maniac in no limit hold'em, be careful. They can get good hands too so don't put all your money in the pot with garbage. At the same time though, you need to challenge them and let them bluff their money off to you.

These types of players have read a book or two and feel like they are entitled to win as long as they don't play bad hands. Players like this wait all day for AA, then get it and raise. I love calling them with little hands just to see if I hit knowing that if I do, they will give me their whole stack. They are just waiting for someone to challenge their AA on the flop and they are married to the hand. What they don't realize is that AA is a good starting hand, but it is just one pair.

Also what makes playing against tight players so easy is that you always know what they have. Losing money to them is pretty hard. Buying Poker Books- I purchase all the available material published on Texas hold'em even the low limit books. Anything that has a potential to improve my game or to make me think about the game in a new light I am interested in. My only advice is that you take everything you read with a grain of salt. A book isn't going to tell you how to win, it will only cover some concepts you should be familiar with.

You always need to adjust your play based on who you are playing against. Reading and talking about poker is a form of training. I'm not going to endorse any poker writers here but I suggest you look around a buy a few books. Slow Playing- Slow playing is basically if you have a good hand then instead of raising at that betting round, you wait until a later one to raise. In limit hold'em I'm a big fan of slow playing. In no limit hold'em, I slow play less for a few reasons.

The first reason is many of the hands I am involved in aren't that strong and the more cards that come out, the less strength my hand has. The second reason I don't slow play as much is I don't want to end up putting a big bet in at the wrong time and lose more then necessary with a marginal hand. Another reason I don't slow play as much in no limit is because the people I play with expect me to bet when I have something or not so checking and then putting in a big raise later doesn't get much action.

Instead of slow playing I prefer to try to build a pot and get someone committed. One situation I will slow play or just call bets is when I have a set or trips. If you have a nut hand one that can't be beat then sometimes you will make more money by springing a trap later after someone has a lot of money invested in the hand. Don't mess around with one pair like that though or you'll be nailed. For example, if you have AK and flop an Ace you don't want to let the opposition see a lot of cards.

To finish up, I'm much more likely to slow play in no limit if I'm up against one person. The more people in the pot, the less you should slow play. Big Stack Gets More Action- I've heard that if you have a large stack of chips at a table then you will get less action.

I have found the opposite to be true. When I have a large stack 4x more then the buy-in , people call much larger bets from me. I've thought about this for a while and I think the reason is that people don't like to feel like they are being bullied. Everyone at the table wants to get a piece of you.

That's the best money making situation since you can put in much larger bets when you have a good hand. The opposite may be true as well, if I see someone with a large stack raise three times more pre-flop then everyone else usually does, I am suspicious.

That can get you in trouble though since the guy may just be having a killer day. Adjusting For Home Games- Home games are usually different then what you'll find online or in regular card rooms. When I play home games with my friends its more of a relaxing fun time then all out war. Playing your best game for a regular game might be completely different then for a home game.

If your friends are in every single hand, then you can definitely loosen up and have some fun too. Don't be a slave to the rules. This is poker, it's meant to be fun! Short Stack Re-raise Trick- One trick that particularly warms my heart is when I get dealt a big hand like AA or KK and I see a fairly loose or wild player with just a little money left. People have gotten pissed at me doing that but I still love to. Position, Position, Position- If you are limit hold'em player migrated to no limit, you may not fully appreciate the power of position.

I can't emphasize it enough. Being the last person to act, especially in heads up situations, affords you a lot power. It has been my experience that if you are in later position and someone checks, it is much more likely that they don't have much or are weak, then that they are going for a check raise.

For example, let's say that a person raises pre-flop and you call with a middle pair. The flop comes back Ace high. If the person checks to you, it probably means they don't have an Ace, not that they have a set of Aces. So my advice is don't fear the check raise. If they check raise you once in a while, great, good for them.

Most of the time it won't happen though. Another situation often happens in my games and that is when I am in with a flush draw on a raggedy flop. Let's say the flop is for example with two hearts. The first person bets and I call. They bet again and I call. The flush or my over cards don't get there for me and the board pairs on the river and they check -- board is Now that's a little weird, what did they have all this time that they would now check?

A good size bet now would probably win the pot. It is very likely they also missed a draw of some kind or were just betting over-cards since the flop looked like it didn't hit you as well. Position is powerful only if you use it. Always keep it in the back of your mind that you don't need the winning hand to take the pot, you just need to make everyone else fold. If you can make some ballsy bets now and then at the right times, you'll make it very hard on your opponents.

These are spots where I like to make my plays. Remember above how I mentioned I don't always bet in the back when everyone checks to me on the flop? I wrote that I like to play "honestly" there most of the time. The biggest reason for that, is so I can steal more later when it really matters. If you spend your time memorizing tables on playing certain hands in certain positions, you'll never get very far in poker.

The goal is to win and I think the strongest type of poker player is the guy who can switch gears and vary his play based on the table, hand and opponent. Position - One thing you'll find in no limit hold'em is that position is much more of a factor.

Position in limit hold'em is important but not even close to no limit. With that said, I am not a slave to position. The reason is because I don't get trapped and call unless I want. If someone raises me pre-flop a large amount, I can very easily fold. If lots of other people are in, I can call.

I think position in limit hold'em and no limit are exactly reversed. In limit hold'em position is very important pre-flop, but after the flop it is of less importance. In no limit hold'em position is less important pre-flop and very important post flop. What's the worst thing that can happen if I limp in with 56s in early position in no limit? A person could raise, and then I just fold and lose my few bucks. A few bucks is nothing in no limit. In limit poker though, if I limp in with that hand in early position I am guaranteed to lose money in the long run.

I can only win so much with the hand so I need to make sure there is enough money in pre-flop before I commit my bet for limit hold'em. In no limit you can win a huge pot with any hand so calling a few dollars and then folding if it gets too expensive isn't as much of a concern. Moderation is the key, don't take this too far. You will lose if you play any two cards in any position and call any bet. Big Loss Or Small Win - there is a concept in no limit poker regarding hands that either will win a small pot or lose a big one.

Those are good hands in limit poker but in no limit if you flop something with those and get action, you will most likely lose a big pot or just win a little one after everyone folds. That doesn't mean that I won't play those hands, it just means you have to watch out because they are the cards that will get you in trouble. I treat hands like this with great care. I honestly would prefer a hand like 45s over AJ.

The 45s won't get me into any binds while the AJ will do nothing but that. Trash Hands - I love garbage hands, especially if I can sneak in from the small blind by just calling half a bet. What are some garbage hands? T2s, 95, T6, 23, A2, etc. I love to just limp in with them from the small or big blind and then try to sting someone after flopping a big hand.

The reason these do well is because if there was no raise pre-flop then the opposition most likely has hands like QJ, KJ, JT, etc. When you flop two pair you can really make them pay. What you want to avoid though is catching one pair and thinking it is good.

If you have a crappy hand like J4 and the flop is J92, I probably wouldn't even bet from early position. It's going to be a small pot anyway since no one raised pre-flop so if you check and give it away even if you had the best hand so be it. Remember you are here to win some big pots, not a lot of little ones.

You can have fun with them though. I'll mix up my play based on who I'm against especially with Aces. When I get dealt Aces or Kings though, I'm always thinking in the back of my mind that I don't want to lose my whole stack with these. This is a huge weakness for new players. They get dealt AA or KK and then think they are guaranteed to win. That's not so. The best case scenario if you are dealt Aces is someone else has a hand they are raising with pre-flop. If that isn't the case I don't mess around with these hands.

I'll play them straight forward and take my little pot. I'll raise pre-flop, then put a decent bet in on the flop and bigger on the turn. My goal if no one else has a big starting hand is just to win some, not a lot. Remember one pair isn't that great and if you get tons of action after the flop then you are in trouble. I don't make the majority of my money with big hands like this. Don't be discouraged if you finally get Aces and then win only a little with them. One tactic that sometimes will win a big pot is to feign weakness on the flop with your Aces.

For example, if the flop comes back Jack high and you have Aces, waiting for a while and then only betting half the pot sometimes gets people to check raise or raise a large amount because they put you on AK. Then you just call and then put them all-in on the turn card. That happened to me last night and I got a good player to lose his whole stack to me. I think out of all the hands in no limit, these are the toughest to play well.

The best advice I can give is don't lose all your chips calling all-in with Queens or Jacks pre-flop. Being able to not lose a bunch in that situation is a sign you're doing something right. The tell tale sign of AA or KK is if you raise a good amount and then get re-raised or re-raised all-in by an unimaginative player. If I just get re-raised I'll most likely call. If the person has a bunch of chips and goes all-in then I'm going to have to look hard at the situation. How much it is going to cost me is another thing I look at in this situation.

Or if the person is a wild player that raises a lot of hands and you don't know if they have anything, let alone a good hand then go ahead and do the dirty dance. Also understand that calling the re-raise and seeing the flop is only the start. Most likely all the money will go in by showdown. My goal in trouble spots like this is to just break even. If I can make a few reads here and there and win a few pots and then make a few mistakes and lose a few I'm ok with it.

My advice with these cards is to play them but be careful. I play these cards pretty weakly. If I flop something big like top two pair then of course I'll play more aggressively and try to win more but with just top pair I'm careful.

I will bet but I'm not going to get married to the pot. What you want to avoid like the plague is calling big pre-flop raises with these, flopping top pair and paying off the raiser. That's how you lose fast in no limit poker. I will limp in with these hands from early position but if someone raises a good amount, I'm out unless lots of other people are in.

I'll need a really strong flop to continue. There is no way I'll limp in with KJs, call a pre-flop raise, and then call all the way down with top pair hoping I'm good. If you don't have the initiative in the hand doing the betting , there is a reason.

Small Pocket Pairs - Of all the hands in no limit hold'em, these are my favorites. They play themselves and when they hit, you are "set". My ideal situation is when I limp in with a small pocket pair in early position, get raised a decent amount from someone with a big pair or AK and then I call and flop trips.

I'll call pre-flop with these hands as long as the raise isn't too much and the person has enough chips in front of them or alternatively other people are in the hand too. Having pocket deuces is no different then having pocket fives or sevens. You won't continue on the flop unless you hit or you see a bluffing opportunity in which case the denomination of your cards doesn't matter either.

Pocket eights and up can win without improving but it's rare you'll get much action in those situations. Suited Cards - In no limit hold'em I don't make a big distinction between a suited connector 67s and two suited cards T6s. In either case you are going to need a big flop to make much with the hand. In limit poker having the suited cards connected really helps out a lot but in no limit it doesn't matter as much.

With these cards I'll limp in late position, sometimes in the front if they are decent cards. I particularly like the smaller suited cards like 35s or 46s. The reason is because if no one raised pre-flop it usually means someone is out there with a "weak ace" A5, A6, A2, A3, etc. Sometimes you'll flop the straight and they will have two pair, in which case you can sting them nicely. Staying Out Of Trouble - In limit hold'em much of the play is in the middle. What I mean by that is you win the majority of your money by just having decent hands -- top pair and betting it down.

For example, you have KQ, raise, flop top pair, and bet it down and win. To play no limit well you need to adjust your thinking. In no limit you want either a great hand or a trash hand. You don't want a lot of stuff in the middle since a mistake can cost you your whole stack. This is why you would prefer to have 33 against a raiser instead of AJ or KQ. Remember we aren't playing tournaments here, we are playing ring games for money.

That's a big distinction. If you have already played hold'em for sometime then these answers may pop right out; it isn't obvious though to a beginner and it is funny that many people who have been playing for decades still can't seem to get it straight. Certain hands perform better in certain situations then they would in others. The reason a hand like K7s sucks is because it has very little chance to win obviously!

The ways it can win are either very unlikely to happen, or you won't be able to play with much strength when they do. What exactly are you trying to catch when you play a hand like K7s? If you catch your King, then most likely your 7 kicker will be beaten. If you catch your 7 as top pair, you will most likely lose to over-cards hitting on the turn or river.

Remember the odds of catching a flush draw on the flop aren't high either check the probabilities table here. This hand also can't make a straight unless it is only one card. To catch two pair with it or to make trips in a weird way is also very unlikely. So the bottom line is, these hands don't make money unless you get lucky and luck doesn't pan out often or it wouldn't be called luck.

So with these kinds of crappy cards you really want to watch out. Either avoid them completely or only play them out of your blinds when it is very cheap. Any Ace unsuited hand below AT is in my book a trouble hand. Some people might even consider AT and AJ trouble hands too but for the games you are going to be playing in they are adequate starting hands. The reason A8, A7, A5 all suck is because you really can't hit much to win.

Take A8 for example. Your kicker isn't that great, the 8, and you have no chance of hitting any straights or flushes. The only way you can win really is to hope that they have a weaker Ace then you do and you catch one. Like I mentioned in another article on here, playing poker well is like investing. You want to put your money in good opportunities that have a chance for a nice return and A8 off isn't that.

Now to answer the question of ATs and above and A5s and below versus A9s A8s A7s A6s, I like the first ones because you can also make a straight with them. I would take A5s over A8s because the A and the 5 can work together to make a straight, unlike the A8s. When you play weak Aces though like A5s, you have to be extra cautious if you catch an Ace on the flop. You won't be sure if your kicker is good or not so you'll have to use some more thinking.

Playing these only in later positions can help you make better decisions because people will check most likely if they don't have the A or that hand beat. Remember the scenario above when you were in the big blind, everyone is in the hand so far, and you look down and see two beautiful black Aces looking up at you?

My heart usually starts going a mile a minute and then I look up to see that everyone has already called and my chances to win are slim. Big hands like this rarely win when there are that many people calling pre-flop. The reason is that it is very hard for AA to improve to anything more then just one pair.

And in those big multi-way pots usually two pair or greater drags the chips. In that situation I may actually try to check raise on the flop instead of betting right now. The idea would be to try to cut off some people in the middle and make them fold. Limiting the field increases my chances to win with that hand. I love little suited connectors in low limit hold'em. The reason is that I rarely get into trouble with them. When I hit something, it is usually really strong and when I miss it is an easy fold.

This untrue for hands like AA and KK. With those you are pretty much married to the pot unless someone really makes it apparent that you are the loser. A hand like JTs and 89s are ideal for playing against big multi-action. The best situation would be if you are on the button or even in the big blind and every person calls before you.

I would even raise there a lot of the time to just get more money in the pot. The reason these play well and favor large pots is because they are drawing to flushes and straights. They need lots of people in the hand to justify the cost of playing them. And they do well in that situation because when they make their hand they are hard to beat. Below, I have categorized thirteen types of starting hands, in order of their value.

The statistics are borrowed from www. Some people count Jacks as high pairs, but I do not as they are not statistically matched to the value of other high pairs. My advice is Raise Pre-Flop and drive the garbage out. If you are in a late position, then you do not need to raise if someone else has driven out the garbage for you. However, if you are in the blind and someone else has raised, you might want to re-raise in order to increase the size of the pot from one more round of betting, and to drive out someone like a small blind who may have limped in with a mediocre hand.

If you fail to raise above the big blind and get beat by someone with a suited non-connector, it will be your own fault. If no one else has raised, it is your job to do so in every case. These are legitimately the best hands in poker, so rather than jam the pot and re-raise pre-flop you should probably just call the raise, or slow-bet.

If someone else has raised ahead of you, the garbage will be cleared and you can wait till the flop to reveal a betting strategy. If you flop a King and Ace, and you are holding two King, you will be in the driver's seat and no one will know what hit them. ODDS: You are going to land any given pair every hands you play, so a pocket pair of aces is extremely rare.

Assuming you play hands a night, it will only happen every other night. The chance of landing one of the high pairs, however, is once in every 73 hands, so it should happen to you once every evening. Don't lose out on that opportunity. These are medium pairs because odds are that an over card will flop more than half of the time. Even though the odds of winning with a pair of Jacks is You are hoping for trips so, but if you don't land them, only continue if you have the high pair possible, and then bet high to throw out the single face cards in the hole.

Do not be suckered by landing another board pair, giving you two pair. Either someone else has trips or someone with a face card will get the high pair on the turn or river. ODDS: The chance of landing any pocket pair of sevens or higher is the same as landing two cards ten or higher. These events happen every 5. Because you hold the ace, any draw to a straight is a close-end straight, so your odds are lower than an open-end straight.

ODDS: You will receive two suited cards every 3. Most people stay in and raise with this hand. If you pair the face card, you will have the high kicker, and if you pair the ace, you will probably have a higher kicker than anyone else. If you draw to a straight, you will beat other straights and at least split the pot. This is not a hand to go heads up against someone with. This is best played in late position with a lot of callers already in the pot, giving you higher pot odds for a flush draw.

This is also a good hand for stealing the blinds if you are on the button, because at least you have one ace in the hole. Mostly, though, I like to play this hand only in No Limit Hold'em because I may need to stay in to the river to get my cards, and I want to be able to go all-in and make a big score if I have the high flush. Earning a minor pot on such low odds just doesn't make as much sense.

The probability of making a flush, therefore, is 15 to 1 against, meaning that you should really only enter the pot if there are 15 other players in, which never happens, so playing these cards with any regularity is a losing proposition. If you are on the button, and the flop is cheap, and you do go with Ace-Low suited, then you should fold unless you immediately receive either two cards that match your hole cards or a four flush.

The probability of flopping a four-flush is 8. When betting on the turn hoping for flush, you really want at least three people in the pot, or enough money for three in the pot. All low pairs are questionable investments at best. If you have a low pair and you flop a open-end straight draw, stay in, because you own TWO of the hole cards needed for the straight, lowering the odds that you will have to split the pot.

ODDS: You are going to land a pocket pair about once every 16 hands so don't get too excited about the lower pairs. Half the time, your pocket pairs will be high or medium pairs. Stick to those. If you take a pocket pair to the river, you have a 4. However, I don't bet on low pairs EVER, because it is more likely that someone else will take a straight or a flush or higher trips or a full house to the river and beat my low trips.

With low pairs, I would never want to stay in unless I saw trips on the flop, and the chances of that are 7. These cards should be considered the same value as low pairs, except with a low pair, at least you know if you have trips on the flop. With a King Flush draw, you could have the ace on the flop, and still not get the flush on fifth street, so this is a potentially costly hand. See the section on " Sucker Hands " for more info. Most players stay in with any ace, especially if you are playing with less than 10 at a table.

If you draw to a flush or a straight ONLY, however, you are in serious risk of losing to larger straights or flushes. Don't get too excited about these cards because they share the same suit. I generally fold all suited connectors, occasionally keeping a QJ or JT if I am in late position and several players are in and none have raised. If, after the flop, your hole card is at the low end of the straight, this is a classic " Sucker Hand.

My attitude is that if you love suited connectors pre-flop, you might as well get equally excited about any low straight draw. ODDS: You will receive a suited connector once every 46 hands or 2. Like suited connectors, only stay in if the pot is big because there are lots of other players calling pre-flop.

Two low cards not in order is a Trash hand, and is not a Low Straight draw even if they are separated by only one card. Also, in the pocket is the worst possible hand in poker even it if is a straight draw. This is a loser hand.

The only reason anyone stays in with these hands is that the flop was so cheap that the couldn't say no, such as being in the big blind with no raises. If you get a trash hand, and you are in the small blind, only consider calling if everyone else has and if you are sure that the person in the big blind won't raise you. Only play strong hands that will stand a raise or multiple raises from early betting positions.

You have about a 1 in 8 chance of hitting a set when you hold a pocket pair. After you fold, don't watch the flop, watch the other players. If you don't know how to calculate poker odds and pot odds you will have a hard time making correct decisions in difficult situations. What are the chances of hitting a flush draw? What are the chances of your pocket pair improving to a set on the flop. You will find the answers to these questions, and many more, on this page. It's difficult to memorize all this information, but you should at least have a basic understanding of this if you want to become a winning Texas Hold'em player.

For example, players with no insight into the issue of pot odds versus winning chances can often be seen folding on the river against bets that are just a tiny fraction of the pot size, ignoring the fact that calling would be motivated by virtue of even the lowest bluff frequency on the part of the opponent. Position is simply where you are sitting in relation to the dealer's button.

In hold'em and many other poker games, your position at the table is a big factor. The strength of your position comes from the fact that the betting goes in a clockwise fashion. In a favorable position you get to see how many other players react to their hands and whether they fold, bet, or call before you do. The poker phrase, "Position is power" comes from this simple idea. There are many names associated with position to identify where players are sitting in relation to the dealer's button.

Each particular position has its own strengths or weaknesses. The small blind has the worst position after the flop and must invest half a bet. The big blind invests an entire bet and similarly has a poor position. The player under the gun has the worst position pre-flop and a junk position afterwards.

The button has the best position during any betting round. The importance of your position depends on many factors. For example, in no limit hold'em, position is much more important than in limit hold'em. It is always better to be in an late position though, so it is important to identify what hands are generally playable in all positions.

For example, lets say you're under the gun. You have Queen-Ten, unsuited and decide to limp into the pot. The player to bet after you raises, and everyone but you folds.. Now you're in a jam. Chances are good that this player has a better hand than you. If they have any ace, king, or pocket pair, they are statistically better than you. You'd suspect that someone who raised has at least a hand like that. Now you can either call again and go into the flop as an underdog or you can fold and just give up a bet.

What's worse is that if you call, you will be acting before this player for the rest of the hand. On the other hand, let's say you're on the button. You have Queen-Ten, unsuited and everybody folds to you. One option would be to fold and let the blinds fight it out. Another would be the just call and see what happens on the flop. Many players here would raise because you could steal the blinds and even if you didn't, you'd act after them for the remainder of the hand.

Raising is only a viable option because of your favorable position. Another notable factor is that position goes hand in hand with knowing the players directly around you. For example, an aggressive, blind-stealing player to the immediate right of a tight player usually results in the tight player's blinds getting stolen. Being in late position with a good hand has major strengths over being early with a good hand. Early position raisers are assumed to have a good hand and it tends to scare players away.

Early pre-flop raises can force the other players to call two bets at once or more in the case of pot limit or no limit hold'em when there is nearly nothing in the pot worth fighting for. In late position, there may be players who have already called one bet. Those players only have to call one bet in limit with a little something already in the pot.

So players in late position with a good hand have the ability to manipulate the pot size, which will make future bets easier to call in the upcoming betting rounds. Acting after opponents is valuable because you garner clues about their hands while giving out minimal information regarding your own.

Also, against one or two opponents, you can often take the pot with a mere bet if they've checked to you. In most things in life, you hate being last. In poker, you'll learn to love it. Whenever you make an incorrect move up front, you run the risk of rendering each subsequent decision incorrect as well. That's why your choice of starting hands is usually much more critical than how you play on future betting rounds.

When you're losing, consider gearing down. Losing means it's time for lots of traction and not much speed. It's a time for playing only the best starting hands. Not marginal hands, not good or even very good starting hands, but only the best hands. That means you'll throw away hand after hand.

It takes discipline to do this, particularly when some of the hands would have won. But here's the recipe for gearing down: Stay away from troublesome, marginal hands. Go with the gold. Make opponents pay to draw out on you.

Most of the time they won't get lucky, and that extra money in the pot will wind up in your stack of chips. Never play weak starting hands from early position. Your position is of vital importance in deciding whether to open the pot. As detailed earlier, you should strive to play most of your hands from late position, since this allows you to ascertain more accurately the strength of your opponents.

At no point in the hand is this more evident than in deciding whether to open a pot for a raise. Very few hands should be played from early position, which can be classified as the first three seats in a handed game. This is because the poorer players will be calling your raises with worse hands than these, which would not necessarily be the case in tighter games. If the other players have folded to you and you are sitting in any middle position, you can add a few more hands to your opening range.

Now, pairs such as are definitely worth a raise, as are big suited cards such as A-J or K-Q. A-Q off suit is also worth raising now. The hands , A-T suited, and A-J off suit are marginal here, becoming more playable in later middle position.

On the button, you can dramatically expand your playbook when it's folded to you. The primary reason for this is that you have only the blinds to contend with, meaning that even if they should decide to defend call from a blind position in a raised pot , you will hold position on them for the remainder of the hand.

Pairs such as should be played in virtually every situation, and you can raise with the baby pairs too, if the blinds are either very tight or poor players. You want to capitalize on players who play too tight in the blinds by raising them at every opportunity. When a poor player is in the blind and you hold the button, you shouldn't mind playing quite a variety of hands either, as you hold position on this inferior player for the rest of the hand.

This is a good way to attract chips your way. In addition to any pair, you can open on the button with hands as weak as K-T or Q-T off suit, or with suited hands such as K The button is the one time you may wish to open with a drawing hand.

Again, position is a major reason, along with the fact that if both blinds fold, you win the pot right away. Even if you do get called, your position and aggression will often allow you to pick up the pot with a bet on the flop. Suppose playing Texas Hold'em you are under the gun with a marginal hand like KJo.

What should you do? Some learning players would immediately consult their starting hand charts, either literally or in their memory, and then decide what action to take. Unfortunately, rigid adherence to artificial charts is the root of ruin of many people who might otherwise become quite good poker players. A lot of these players may in fact become winning players, especially in rake games where the house takes its cut from the pot rather than equally from each player, but I suggest most players relying on starting hand charts are either doomed to never be much good at poker, or will end up as merely mediocre.

Strong, solid winning poker is all about situational analyses. Every situation is somewhere between slightly different and very different from other situations -- even if you hold the very same cards! KJo is just not KJo, even if the situations appear the same on the surface. Ideally, you would want to play with these two loose players with this hand. The correct play here will often be to raise with the KJo, and much of the time get to play against the two weak players in the blinds.

Well, now your KJo is a pile of muckable junk. At the very least, it should be easy to see that these two situations are extremely different from each other. Whatever value KJ has in the first scenario with weak players behind you and in the blinds, it has less value with aggressive players in those positions. A solid, sensible player should consult his or her brain when facing these very different circumstances -- not some silly chart divorced from reality.

What you do in a poker game depends on the game conditions, the players in the blind, who has acted so far, who won or lost the previous pots, and so on. A dozen or more factors should go into your thought process of why a hand should be played, and how it should be played. Another example is: Suppose two super-tight players are in the blinds and you are one behind the button. The universe of hands you should play for a raise here is simple: every single two-card combination from AA to 72o.

No starting hand chart can tell you that. Observing the people does. When I was a kid, the Moms in the neighborhood had discussions about the best way to teach a five year-old how to ride a bicycle. Some supported using training wheels. Others thought "ride and fall" was the best way. While the training wheel kids started off great, zipping around on their big bikes while the other kids were crashing into hedges, soon the freewheeling kids passed the training wheels kids, by far too.

Starting hand charts are training wheels, crutches. They keep you from actually doing the stuff of playing of poker: critical, situational, analytical thinking. A rank amateur can look at a starting hand chart once and get some ideas about hands, but a chart itself is meaningless for one look. All that needs to be done is novices need to be told tendencies, like you should tend to play stronger hands out of position than you need to play in position.

Starting hand charts lead to people thinking totally wrong in terms of how to play poker. They send you down the wrong road. They give you a bad crutch. They are simply just about the worst possible tool for a learning player to use. Simplistic, robotic strategies can lead to a player doing decently since most players play poorly but robots miss out on profit the thoughtful players get, and robots present no threat to a genuinely strong player.

Memorization of starting hand charts is a recipe for permanent mediocrity. Position, patience, and power are the keys to winning. Making good hand selections is the most critical part of the game and determines whether or not you are successful in winning hands. Most players lose because they play too many hands.

The best two card starting hand is A-A. The worst starting hand is unsuited. Being aware of your position at the table in relation to the dealer is also a factor. You need a stronger hand to act from an " early position " because you have more players acting after you who may raise or re-raise the pot.

It is important that you wait for a strong starting hand to play if you are in an early position. The player to the left of the big blind, the third player to the left of the dealer, acts first after the pocket cards are dealt and before the flop. He or she is considered to be in early position. Depending on how many players are at the table, the next player could also be considered to be in early position. The next player or players are in " middle position ".

They are the players after the early position and are usually considered to be the fifth, sixth, and seventh positions to the left of the dealer. The two players to the right of the dealer are considered to be in " late position " and bet last. It takes a stronger hand to call a raise than it does to make one. If there is a raise before it is your turn to act, you should fold.

Most players will not raise pre-flop unless they have a good starting hand. Most players will play any two suited cards from any position, and they will play ace with any small second " kicker " card. These hands are losers in the long run and should be evaluated carefully. Many players feel they must call all raises if they have put in the small or big blind bets even if they only have a marginal hand.

Before you start betting like a madman when you get two eights in the pocket, you need to carefully consider all factors involved in solid pre-flop strategy. Number of players: With 10 people in the game, it's much more likely that someone else has a strong hand in the pocket than in a short-handed game. Also, you'll need to be more cautious in larger games, as the chances of someone's pre-flop hand fitting the flop will be much better.

More competition means stiffer competition. How aggressive the players are: Assuming you've been playing with a few people for several hands, and you noticed some jackass is raising every hand pre-flop, you'll want to play tighter. Let the guy win the blinds big deal and nail him to the wall when you have a solid hand in the pocket pre-flop. You'll want to be all-in before the flop is dealt. Your position: People in late position have the ability to influence the size of the pot much more than those in early position.

This is especially true pre-flop. Your tolerance for risk: Depending on your playing style, you may want to play more or less aggressively pre-flop. Players who shoot for larger pots, but don't mind a greater chance for losing a few hands will want to raise pre-flop, especially if they are in late position. Some players prefer to be as selective as possible pre-flop, grinding out a winning hand here or there. It really depends on your own style of play, and how you perceive the players around you.

You might also want to consider what cards you have in your hand. Naturally, AA is the best to start with. It helps if your hand is suited or if the cards are sequential in rank like a Seven and an Eight "connected". It's important to understand how your two cards hold up against other combinations of cards though. I good discussion of pre-flop hands can be found on our pre-flop hand comparison page.

For specific statistics on how your two specific cards interact with the flop, try our pre-flop calculator. There are many mistakes being made pre-flop. To fix the leaks in your game I suggest you follow the following pre-flop strategy until you get a feel of the game and the players that you are playing with. Call: NONE. Sometime you don't raise exactly as this chart says. You are only raising as this chart says when you have no raises before you and few players calling before you.

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My goal in trouble spots like this is to just break even. If I can make a few reads here and there and win a few pots and then make a few mistakes and lose a few I'm ok with it. My advice with these cards is to play them but be careful. I play these cards pretty weakly. If I flop something big like top two pair then of course I'll play more aggressively and try to win more but with just top pair I'm careful. I will bet but I'm not going to get married to the pot.

What you want to avoid like the plague is calling big pre-flop raises with these, flopping top pair and paying off the raiser. That's how you lose fast in no limit poker. I will limp in with these hands from early position but if someone raises a good amount, I'm out unless lots of other people are in.

I'll need a really strong flop to continue. There is no way I'll limp in with KJs, call a pre-flop raise, and then call all the way down with top pair hoping I'm good. If you don't have the initiative in the hand doing the betting , there is a reason. Small Pocket Pairs - Of all the hands in no limit hold'em, these are my favorites. They play themselves and when they hit, you are "set".

My ideal situation is when I limp in with a small pocket pair in early position, get raised a decent amount from someone with a big pair or AK and then I call and flop trips. I'll call pre-flop with these hands as long as the raise isn't too much and the person has enough chips in front of them or alternatively other people are in the hand too. Having pocket deuces is no different then having pocket fives or sevens. You won't continue on the flop unless you hit or you see a bluffing opportunity in which case the denomination of your cards doesn't matter either.

Pocket eights and up can win without improving but it's rare you'll get much action in those situations. Suited Cards - In no limit hold'em I don't make a big distinction between a suited connector 67s and two suited cards T6s. In either case you are going to need a big flop to make much with the hand.

In limit poker having the suited cards connected really helps out a lot but in no limit it doesn't matter as much. With these cards I'll limp in late position, sometimes in the front if they are decent cards. I particularly like the smaller suited cards like 35s or 46s. The reason is because if no one raised pre-flop it usually means someone is out there with a "weak ace" A5, A6, A2, A3, etc. Sometimes you'll flop the straight and they will have two pair, in which case you can sting them nicely.

Staying Out Of Trouble - In limit hold'em much of the play is in the middle. What I mean by that is you win the majority of your money by just having decent hands -- top pair and betting it down. For example, you have KQ, raise, flop top pair, and bet it down and win. To play no limit well you need to adjust your thinking. In no limit you want either a great hand or a trash hand.

You don't want a lot of stuff in the middle since a mistake can cost you your whole stack. This is why you would prefer to have 33 against a raiser instead of AJ or KQ. Remember we aren't playing tournaments here, we are playing ring games for money.

That's a big distinction. If you have already played hold'em for sometime then these answers may pop right out; it isn't obvious though to a beginner and it is funny that many people who have been playing for decades still can't seem to get it straight. Certain hands perform better in certain situations then they would in others. The reason a hand like K7s sucks is because it has very little chance to win obviously!

The ways it can win are either very unlikely to happen, or you won't be able to play with much strength when they do. What exactly are you trying to catch when you play a hand like K7s? If you catch your King, then most likely your 7 kicker will be beaten. If you catch your 7 as top pair, you will most likely lose to over-cards hitting on the turn or river. Remember the odds of catching a flush draw on the flop aren't high either check the probabilities table here.

This hand also can't make a straight unless it is only one card. To catch two pair with it or to make trips in a weird way is also very unlikely. So the bottom line is, these hands don't make money unless you get lucky and luck doesn't pan out often or it wouldn't be called luck.

So with these kinds of crappy cards you really want to watch out. Either avoid them completely or only play them out of your blinds when it is very cheap. Any Ace unsuited hand below AT is in my book a trouble hand. Some people might even consider AT and AJ trouble hands too but for the games you are going to be playing in they are adequate starting hands. The reason A8, A7, A5 all suck is because you really can't hit much to win.

Take A8 for example. Your kicker isn't that great, the 8, and you have no chance of hitting any straights or flushes. The only way you can win really is to hope that they have a weaker Ace then you do and you catch one. Like I mentioned in another article on here, playing poker well is like investing. You want to put your money in good opportunities that have a chance for a nice return and A8 off isn't that.

Now to answer the question of ATs and above and A5s and below versus A9s A8s A7s A6s, I like the first ones because you can also make a straight with them. I would take A5s over A8s because the A and the 5 can work together to make a straight, unlike the A8s. When you play weak Aces though like A5s, you have to be extra cautious if you catch an Ace on the flop. You won't be sure if your kicker is good or not so you'll have to use some more thinking.

Playing these only in later positions can help you make better decisions because people will check most likely if they don't have the A or that hand beat. Remember the scenario above when you were in the big blind, everyone is in the hand so far, and you look down and see two beautiful black Aces looking up at you?

My heart usually starts going a mile a minute and then I look up to see that everyone has already called and my chances to win are slim. Big hands like this rarely win when there are that many people calling pre-flop. The reason is that it is very hard for AA to improve to anything more then just one pair. And in those big multi-way pots usually two pair or greater drags the chips. In that situation I may actually try to check raise on the flop instead of betting right now. The idea would be to try to cut off some people in the middle and make them fold.

Limiting the field increases my chances to win with that hand. I love little suited connectors in low limit hold'em. The reason is that I rarely get into trouble with them. When I hit something, it is usually really strong and when I miss it is an easy fold. This untrue for hands like AA and KK. With those you are pretty much married to the pot unless someone really makes it apparent that you are the loser. A hand like JTs and 89s are ideal for playing against big multi-action.

The best situation would be if you are on the button or even in the big blind and every person calls before you. I would even raise there a lot of the time to just get more money in the pot. The reason these play well and favor large pots is because they are drawing to flushes and straights.

They need lots of people in the hand to justify the cost of playing them. And they do well in that situation because when they make their hand they are hard to beat. Below, I have categorized thirteen types of starting hands, in order of their value. The statistics are borrowed from www.

Some people count Jacks as high pairs, but I do not as they are not statistically matched to the value of other high pairs. My advice is Raise Pre-Flop and drive the garbage out. If you are in a late position, then you do not need to raise if someone else has driven out the garbage for you. However, if you are in the blind and someone else has raised, you might want to re-raise in order to increase the size of the pot from one more round of betting, and to drive out someone like a small blind who may have limped in with a mediocre hand.

If you fail to raise above the big blind and get beat by someone with a suited non-connector, it will be your own fault. If no one else has raised, it is your job to do so in every case. These are legitimately the best hands in poker, so rather than jam the pot and re-raise pre-flop you should probably just call the raise, or slow-bet. If someone else has raised ahead of you, the garbage will be cleared and you can wait till the flop to reveal a betting strategy. If you flop a King and Ace, and you are holding two King, you will be in the driver's seat and no one will know what hit them.

ODDS: You are going to land any given pair every hands you play, so a pocket pair of aces is extremely rare. Assuming you play hands a night, it will only happen every other night. The chance of landing one of the high pairs, however, is once in every 73 hands, so it should happen to you once every evening. Don't lose out on that opportunity. These are medium pairs because odds are that an over card will flop more than half of the time.

Even though the odds of winning with a pair of Jacks is You are hoping for trips so, but if you don't land them, only continue if you have the high pair possible, and then bet high to throw out the single face cards in the hole. Do not be suckered by landing another board pair, giving you two pair. Either someone else has trips or someone with a face card will get the high pair on the turn or river.

ODDS: The chance of landing any pocket pair of sevens or higher is the same as landing two cards ten or higher. These events happen every 5. Because you hold the ace, any draw to a straight is a close-end straight, so your odds are lower than an open-end straight.

ODDS: You will receive two suited cards every 3. Most people stay in and raise with this hand. If you pair the face card, you will have the high kicker, and if you pair the ace, you will probably have a higher kicker than anyone else. If you draw to a straight, you will beat other straights and at least split the pot. This is not a hand to go heads up against someone with.

This is best played in late position with a lot of callers already in the pot, giving you higher pot odds for a flush draw. This is also a good hand for stealing the blinds if you are on the button, because at least you have one ace in the hole. Mostly, though, I like to play this hand only in No Limit Hold'em because I may need to stay in to the river to get my cards, and I want to be able to go all-in and make a big score if I have the high flush.

Earning a minor pot on such low odds just doesn't make as much sense. The probability of making a flush, therefore, is 15 to 1 against, meaning that you should really only enter the pot if there are 15 other players in, which never happens, so playing these cards with any regularity is a losing proposition. If you are on the button, and the flop is cheap, and you do go with Ace-Low suited, then you should fold unless you immediately receive either two cards that match your hole cards or a four flush.

The probability of flopping a four-flush is 8. When betting on the turn hoping for flush, you really want at least three people in the pot, or enough money for three in the pot. All low pairs are questionable investments at best. If you have a low pair and you flop a open-end straight draw, stay in, because you own TWO of the hole cards needed for the straight, lowering the odds that you will have to split the pot.

ODDS: You are going to land a pocket pair about once every 16 hands so don't get too excited about the lower pairs. Half the time, your pocket pairs will be high or medium pairs. Stick to those. If you take a pocket pair to the river, you have a 4.

However, I don't bet on low pairs EVER, because it is more likely that someone else will take a straight or a flush or higher trips or a full house to the river and beat my low trips. With low pairs, I would never want to stay in unless I saw trips on the flop, and the chances of that are 7. These cards should be considered the same value as low pairs, except with a low pair, at least you know if you have trips on the flop.

With a King Flush draw, you could have the ace on the flop, and still not get the flush on fifth street, so this is a potentially costly hand. See the section on " Sucker Hands " for more info. Most players stay in with any ace, especially if you are playing with less than 10 at a table.

If you draw to a flush or a straight ONLY, however, you are in serious risk of losing to larger straights or flushes. Don't get too excited about these cards because they share the same suit. I generally fold all suited connectors, occasionally keeping a QJ or JT if I am in late position and several players are in and none have raised. If, after the flop, your hole card is at the low end of the straight, this is a classic " Sucker Hand.

My attitude is that if you love suited connectors pre-flop, you might as well get equally excited about any low straight draw. ODDS: You will receive a suited connector once every 46 hands or 2. Like suited connectors, only stay in if the pot is big because there are lots of other players calling pre-flop.

Two low cards not in order is a Trash hand, and is not a Low Straight draw even if they are separated by only one card. Also, in the pocket is the worst possible hand in poker even it if is a straight draw. This is a loser hand. The only reason anyone stays in with these hands is that the flop was so cheap that the couldn't say no, such as being in the big blind with no raises.

If you get a trash hand, and you are in the small blind, only consider calling if everyone else has and if you are sure that the person in the big blind won't raise you. Only play strong hands that will stand a raise or multiple raises from early betting positions. You have about a 1 in 8 chance of hitting a set when you hold a pocket pair.

After you fold, don't watch the flop, watch the other players. If you don't know how to calculate poker odds and pot odds you will have a hard time making correct decisions in difficult situations. What are the chances of hitting a flush draw? What are the chances of your pocket pair improving to a set on the flop. You will find the answers to these questions, and many more, on this page.

It's difficult to memorize all this information, but you should at least have a basic understanding of this if you want to become a winning Texas Hold'em player. For example, players with no insight into the issue of pot odds versus winning chances can often be seen folding on the river against bets that are just a tiny fraction of the pot size, ignoring the fact that calling would be motivated by virtue of even the lowest bluff frequency on the part of the opponent.

Position is simply where you are sitting in relation to the dealer's button. In hold'em and many other poker games, your position at the table is a big factor. The strength of your position comes from the fact that the betting goes in a clockwise fashion. In a favorable position you get to see how many other players react to their hands and whether they fold, bet, or call before you do.

The poker phrase, "Position is power" comes from this simple idea. There are many names associated with position to identify where players are sitting in relation to the dealer's button. Each particular position has its own strengths or weaknesses.

The small blind has the worst position after the flop and must invest half a bet. The big blind invests an entire bet and similarly has a poor position. The player under the gun has the worst position pre-flop and a junk position afterwards. The button has the best position during any betting round. The importance of your position depends on many factors. For example, in no limit hold'em, position is much more important than in limit hold'em. It is always better to be in an late position though, so it is important to identify what hands are generally playable in all positions.

For example, lets say you're under the gun. You have Queen-Ten, unsuited and decide to limp into the pot. The player to bet after you raises, and everyone but you folds.. Now you're in a jam. Chances are good that this player has a better hand than you.

If they have any ace, king, or pocket pair, they are statistically better than you. You'd suspect that someone who raised has at least a hand like that. Now you can either call again and go into the flop as an underdog or you can fold and just give up a bet. What's worse is that if you call, you will be acting before this player for the rest of the hand. On the other hand, let's say you're on the button.

You have Queen-Ten, unsuited and everybody folds to you. One option would be to fold and let the blinds fight it out. Another would be the just call and see what happens on the flop. Many players here would raise because you could steal the blinds and even if you didn't, you'd act after them for the remainder of the hand. Raising is only a viable option because of your favorable position. Another notable factor is that position goes hand in hand with knowing the players directly around you.

For example, an aggressive, blind-stealing player to the immediate right of a tight player usually results in the tight player's blinds getting stolen. Being in late position with a good hand has major strengths over being early with a good hand.

Early position raisers are assumed to have a good hand and it tends to scare players away. Early pre-flop raises can force the other players to call two bets at once or more in the case of pot limit or no limit hold'em when there is nearly nothing in the pot worth fighting for. In late position, there may be players who have already called one bet. Those players only have to call one bet in limit with a little something already in the pot.

So players in late position with a good hand have the ability to manipulate the pot size, which will make future bets easier to call in the upcoming betting rounds. Acting after opponents is valuable because you garner clues about their hands while giving out minimal information regarding your own. Also, against one or two opponents, you can often take the pot with a mere bet if they've checked to you.

In most things in life, you hate being last. In poker, you'll learn to love it. Whenever you make an incorrect move up front, you run the risk of rendering each subsequent decision incorrect as well. That's why your choice of starting hands is usually much more critical than how you play on future betting rounds. When you're losing, consider gearing down.

Losing means it's time for lots of traction and not much speed. It's a time for playing only the best starting hands. Not marginal hands, not good or even very good starting hands, but only the best hands. That means you'll throw away hand after hand.

It takes discipline to do this, particularly when some of the hands would have won. But here's the recipe for gearing down: Stay away from troublesome, marginal hands. Go with the gold. Make opponents pay to draw out on you. Most of the time they won't get lucky, and that extra money in the pot will wind up in your stack of chips. Never play weak starting hands from early position.

Your position is of vital importance in deciding whether to open the pot. As detailed earlier, you should strive to play most of your hands from late position, since this allows you to ascertain more accurately the strength of your opponents. At no point in the hand is this more evident than in deciding whether to open a pot for a raise.

Very few hands should be played from early position, which can be classified as the first three seats in a handed game. This is because the poorer players will be calling your raises with worse hands than these, which would not necessarily be the case in tighter games. If the other players have folded to you and you are sitting in any middle position, you can add a few more hands to your opening range. Now, pairs such as are definitely worth a raise, as are big suited cards such as A-J or K-Q.

A-Q off suit is also worth raising now. The hands , A-T suited, and A-J off suit are marginal here, becoming more playable in later middle position. On the button, you can dramatically expand your playbook when it's folded to you. The primary reason for this is that you have only the blinds to contend with, meaning that even if they should decide to defend call from a blind position in a raised pot , you will hold position on them for the remainder of the hand.

Pairs such as should be played in virtually every situation, and you can raise with the baby pairs too, if the blinds are either very tight or poor players. You want to capitalize on players who play too tight in the blinds by raising them at every opportunity. When a poor player is in the blind and you hold the button, you shouldn't mind playing quite a variety of hands either, as you hold position on this inferior player for the rest of the hand.

This is a good way to attract chips your way. In addition to any pair, you can open on the button with hands as weak as K-T or Q-T off suit, or with suited hands such as K The button is the one time you may wish to open with a drawing hand. Again, position is a major reason, along with the fact that if both blinds fold, you win the pot right away. Even if you do get called, your position and aggression will often allow you to pick up the pot with a bet on the flop.

Suppose playing Texas Hold'em you are under the gun with a marginal hand like KJo. What should you do? Some learning players would immediately consult their starting hand charts, either literally or in their memory, and then decide what action to take. Unfortunately, rigid adherence to artificial charts is the root of ruin of many people who might otherwise become quite good poker players. A lot of these players may in fact become winning players, especially in rake games where the house takes its cut from the pot rather than equally from each player, but I suggest most players relying on starting hand charts are either doomed to never be much good at poker, or will end up as merely mediocre.

Strong, solid winning poker is all about situational analyses. Every situation is somewhere between slightly different and very different from other situations -- even if you hold the very same cards! KJo is just not KJo, even if the situations appear the same on the surface.

Ideally, you would want to play with these two loose players with this hand. The correct play here will often be to raise with the KJo, and much of the time get to play against the two weak players in the blinds. Well, now your KJo is a pile of muckable junk. At the very least, it should be easy to see that these two situations are extremely different from each other. Whatever value KJ has in the first scenario with weak players behind you and in the blinds, it has less value with aggressive players in those positions.

A solid, sensible player should consult his or her brain when facing these very different circumstances -- not some silly chart divorced from reality. What you do in a poker game depends on the game conditions, the players in the blind, who has acted so far, who won or lost the previous pots, and so on. A dozen or more factors should go into your thought process of why a hand should be played, and how it should be played.

Another example is: Suppose two super-tight players are in the blinds and you are one behind the button. The universe of hands you should play for a raise here is simple: every single two-card combination from AA to 72o. No starting hand chart can tell you that. Observing the people does.

When I was a kid, the Moms in the neighborhood had discussions about the best way to teach a five year-old how to ride a bicycle. Some supported using training wheels. Others thought "ride and fall" was the best way. While the training wheel kids started off great, zipping around on their big bikes while the other kids were crashing into hedges, soon the freewheeling kids passed the training wheels kids, by far too.

Starting hand charts are training wheels, crutches. They keep you from actually doing the stuff of playing of poker: critical, situational, analytical thinking. A rank amateur can look at a starting hand chart once and get some ideas about hands, but a chart itself is meaningless for one look.

All that needs to be done is novices need to be told tendencies, like you should tend to play stronger hands out of position than you need to play in position. Starting hand charts lead to people thinking totally wrong in terms of how to play poker. They send you down the wrong road. They give you a bad crutch. They are simply just about the worst possible tool for a learning player to use. Simplistic, robotic strategies can lead to a player doing decently since most players play poorly but robots miss out on profit the thoughtful players get, and robots present no threat to a genuinely strong player.

Memorization of starting hand charts is a recipe for permanent mediocrity. Position, patience, and power are the keys to winning. Making good hand selections is the most critical part of the game and determines whether or not you are successful in winning hands. Most players lose because they play too many hands. The best two card starting hand is A-A. The worst starting hand is unsuited. Being aware of your position at the table in relation to the dealer is also a factor. You need a stronger hand to act from an " early position " because you have more players acting after you who may raise or re-raise the pot.

It is important that you wait for a strong starting hand to play if you are in an early position. The player to the left of the big blind, the third player to the left of the dealer, acts first after the pocket cards are dealt and before the flop. He or she is considered to be in early position. Depending on how many players are at the table, the next player could also be considered to be in early position. The next player or players are in " middle position ".

They are the players after the early position and are usually considered to be the fifth, sixth, and seventh positions to the left of the dealer. The two players to the right of the dealer are considered to be in " late position " and bet last. It takes a stronger hand to call a raise than it does to make one. If there is a raise before it is your turn to act, you should fold.

Most players will not raise pre-flop unless they have a good starting hand. Most players will play any two suited cards from any position, and they will play ace with any small second " kicker " card. These hands are losers in the long run and should be evaluated carefully. Many players feel they must call all raises if they have put in the small or big blind bets even if they only have a marginal hand.

Before you start betting like a madman when you get two eights in the pocket, you need to carefully consider all factors involved in solid pre-flop strategy. Number of players: With 10 people in the game, it's much more likely that someone else has a strong hand in the pocket than in a short-handed game.

Also, you'll need to be more cautious in larger games, as the chances of someone's pre-flop hand fitting the flop will be much better. More competition means stiffer competition. How aggressive the players are: Assuming you've been playing with a few people for several hands, and you noticed some jackass is raising every hand pre-flop, you'll want to play tighter.

Let the guy win the blinds big deal and nail him to the wall when you have a solid hand in the pocket pre-flop. You'll want to be all-in before the flop is dealt. Your position: People in late position have the ability to influence the size of the pot much more than those in early position. This is especially true pre-flop. Your tolerance for risk: Depending on your playing style, you may want to play more or less aggressively pre-flop.

Players who shoot for larger pots, but don't mind a greater chance for losing a few hands will want to raise pre-flop, especially if they are in late position. Some players prefer to be as selective as possible pre-flop, grinding out a winning hand here or there. It really depends on your own style of play, and how you perceive the players around you.

You might also want to consider what cards you have in your hand. Naturally, AA is the best to start with. It helps if your hand is suited or if the cards are sequential in rank like a Seven and an Eight "connected". It's important to understand how your two cards hold up against other combinations of cards though. I good discussion of pre-flop hands can be found on our pre-flop hand comparison page.

For specific statistics on how your two specific cards interact with the flop, try our pre-flop calculator. There are many mistakes being made pre-flop. To fix the leaks in your game I suggest you follow the following pre-flop strategy until you get a feel of the game and the players that you are playing with.

Call: NONE. Sometime you don't raise exactly as this chart says. You are only raising as this chart says when you have no raises before you and few players calling before you. This chart represents the raises you should make if you have players calling before you. A bet is a declaration that either: a "I have the best hand and I'll wager money on it" or b "You have a poor hand, and you will fold if you are forced to wager on it". Typically, players are supposed to bet when they have a good hand.

Players who don't have good hands are supposed to fold. Of course, if it was this simple, there would be no need for this page. You might as well wager on Tic-Tac-Toe. Most players play contrary to this idea, attempting to be a cunning or deceptive player. Don't fall into this trap when you are just learning to play.

Your betting strategy should be built upon this simple idea, but you must know when to stray and bet in situations when you otherwise wouldn't. Here are some situations you should start looking at to improve your game:. This is because the blinds may fold, whereas if you didn't raise but simply called, the blinds would simply check. Its a good way to make a buck or two, but will never make you rich. Its more of a way to end the game fast and have a new hand dealt with more players and more money.

Don't use this exclusively, as better players will be onto you quickly and begin check-raising against your most likely poor hand. It is good to use a steal raise when you have an excellent drawing hand such as a nut flush draw. Players will tend to "check to the raiser". If you draw to your hand, you now have a larger pot to win.

If you don't, you can always check, and hope the fifth card makes your hand. Your intention is to lure them into a false sense of security so that you can raise them and increase the pot remember, after one bet is committed, its more likely they'll commit to two. It is when the person first to act raises, making all other players call two bets at once. Its intention is to limit the number of players. Basically, this move amounts to a backwards steal-raise.

The effect will almost certainly cause many players to fold, but the ones remaining will either be equally aggressive or truly have a great hand. This is also known as betting for information. This tactic is best used with few players in on the hand. It's betting when you have a good hand currently, and you suspect another player or players may be on a draw.

For example, you have top pair with the best kicker. Chances are they won't make their draw be it a straight or a flush draw, etc. Your goal is to limit their pot odds. Let me start off by saying what is typical. You'll see people raising different amounts, sometimes much more then that or just doubling the big blind, but by and large it is usually about 3 or 4 times the big blind.

So is that how much you should raise? Maybe, maybe not. How much you should raise pre-flop depends on who you are playing with and what you want to accomplish. I've heard many players talk about how raising the same amount pre-flop and betting the same amount post flop the size of the pot for example is good because you don't give away any information about the strength of your hand. In other words people can't look at how much you are betting and getting a better read on what you have.

I don't buy into that. I think that varying your amounts is much more advantageous to winning money. You need to be flexible and see opportunities to where you can maximize your return. If a guy is willing to call with all of his money, why would you want to only bet the size of the pot?

Let me give you some different scenarios. Your goal with the raise is to cut down the competition and get one or two callers. In this case you can raise much more then you normally would for a few reasons: one, there are already a lot of people in and the likelihood of getting called by a couple of them is high; two, there is already a lot of money in the pot; three, you want to get out of a bunch of the hands since your hand doesn't play well against a lot of people.

Another scenario might be if you have a really bad player at the table who doesn't seem to ever fold pre-flop if he has already called the big blind. If you find a person like that, then by all means raise as much as you can without making him fold.

It's very common to find players like this and when you do, make sure you get as much of their money as you can before someone else does. This is where paying attention comes in handy. Post flop play again depends on two things, what you want to accomplish and who your opponents are. Let me give another few scenarios. Let's say that you have flopped a set of 7s and you are fairly sure that the person you are against has a big hand since he raised pre-flop.

This is a prime money making opportunity. Your goal here is not to shut him out on the flop. You want to do whatever you can to make him put all his money in the middle. This might be calling the flop and then check raising the turn card. Or you may want to bet some into him and pretend like you have a marginal hand, then call his raise and check raise the turn, etc. See it all depends on what you think the best way to get all his money might be. Another extreme is when you don't want anyone to call.

Let's say for example you have T9 and the flop is T You really don't want anyone to call here so you better come out swinging. What you are trying to do is make it unprofitable for someone to call with a draw. Lastly, let's say you flop top pair with a decent hand. Betting the size of the pot is fine here.

What are some of the hands my opponents are likely to hold? What do my opponents think I have? If I think I can force weak opponents out of the pot with this bet or with future bets, I nearly always answer "Yes" and I bet or raise. If I think my opponents are strong, I nearly always answer "Yes" and check or fold.

After a careful analysis, if I'm not sure if I should raise and I'm not sure I should fold, I feel confident that calling a bet or checking is correct. I find that even in straight-forward and obvious situations, by running through the script I often find opportunities that other players might miss. And by asking the "raise" question before the "fold" and "call" question, I ensure that I am playing aggressive, winning poker.

Try using this script next time you sit down at the table, and see if simplifying your inner dialog forces your opponents into making more complicated decisions. Calling a hand means putting money in the pot to match a bet that has been made before your turn to act. In order to play your starting hand, your two pocket cards, you must call the big blind bet and any other raises that are made before the action gets to you.

If a player after you re-raises the bet, you will have to match that amount as well to stay in the hand. The number one reason that players lose money is that they play too many hands. This means they call too much. The most important decision a player can make is deciding which starting hands to play.

You want to play a starting hand if you have a pocket pair or if you have a high probability of drawing a hand in the flop. The strength of your hand Your position in the betting round How many players have entered the pot If the pot was raised in front of you.

You need a stronger hand to call from an earlier betting position, such as being the first or second person to act, than you do in a later position, being one of the last two players to act. The term " limping in " is used when you enter a pot by just calling the big blind bet.

If you limp in from an early position, you take the risk that a player betting after you may raise the pot. If this happens, you either have to call, or match, the raise, fold, or re-raise. When deciding whether or not to play a hand, you should ask yourself if you are willing to call the pot if it is raised.

If you have a marginal hand, you may want to dump it by folding it instead of calling. In later positions, you will have more information about your opponents and the possible strengths of their hands. When deciding whether to continue after a flop, you should use the " fit or fold " strategy. If the flop gives you a hand or makes your hand stronger, you should go ahead and continue by calling.

If it improves your hand by giving you a pair, two pair, or better If it gives you a good draw by giving you four cards of a flush If it gives you a good draw by giving you four cards of a straight If you started with a big pocket pair. Too much money is lost by players who hope to catch a miracle card on the river, the last community card. If another player raises on the turn and you only hold a pair, you are likely to lose and should fold.

If there is a slight chance you may have the winning hand, you should risk one more bet and call. This is to avoid the classic stare down that poker pros are famous for. They may try to study your face for nervousness detecting a weak hand , or even look for repetitive characteristics like a body "tic".

You may have obvious unhappiness in your face when your hand is weak, and conversely, you may show a contrasting show of confidence when your hand is strong. Physical changes happen including flexing of muscles, eye pupil dilation, palpitating heart rate, dry throat. In poker, when someone has a big hand they are typically ready for confrontation and can exhibit some of these characteristics.

You may see the chest expanding abnormally, or you may notice the players voice become slightly higher as he makes a comment. Some of the top players in the game will stare at the vein on the top-side of your face for blood pressure changes. During a bluff, the player may demonstrate anxiety, but if he knows he will fold the hand if re-raised non-confrontational end may look quite comfortable.

It is common for players to quickly glance at their chips if they connect with the board after a Flop for example. This may be a subconscious reaction, but the player is already planning his attack. For example, maybe the player always checks when he has made the nuts, or a player may regularly fold after being re-raised. Here is a listing of general online poker tells that you will often see.

The concept that you should keep in mind when deciphering tells is to remember the following: The golden rule of tells is that a strong opponent will try to act weak, while a weak opponent will try to act strong. The irony is that by using this strategy, they are actually giving off their own tell.

The whole logic behind this play screams strength, because people usually only do it when there is a big possible hand on the table, like a flush or straight. You bet, your opponent pauses for about seconds and then raises you. In English, he might as well be saying: "Hmm Man, I really have to think about this because you might have a really strong hand!

Don't fall for this. Sometimes, a player legitimately thinks you're bluffing the river or whatever so he's raising you back, but most of the time he's got a big hand. While occasionally this is used by maniacs and bluffers, most of the time it's used by a player who is so sure of his hand that he is willing to bet or raise regardless of the action.

This usually means that you want to tread carefully and consider folding or check-calling this down. It should always raise a big warning sign at the very least. Sometimes players will be willing to call after auto-checking, but it's incredibly rare to see someone check-raise with the auto-check button. So, when you're in a small field and it's auto-checked to you, you can often take down the pot right then and there.

When a player does this, you shouldn't look into it either way. Some players do this routinely to throw off their opponents, others do this to make their bet size look bigger and scarier induce folds , while others try to get you to call when doing this.

With reverse psychology, you can figure out that this is an intimidation ploy, because if they did have a strong hand, they'd be raising your bet instead of flat calling. In this situation, you can often continue to bet as normal. That said, some players on tilt or experienced players will often make quick calls, as they really do intend on calling to the river. More often than not, this should indicate a weak hand, as the size of this bet doesn't protect the bettor's hand from being outdrawn.

Quite often though, you'll see these small bets pick up the pot, as the person who bets is usually in good position to make this bet. If you are looking to improve your game, you should sometimes consider a check-raise in this situation. If you timed your play correctly, your opponent will have nothing and will be forced to fold, awarding you the pot. Warning: Many players will often do this on purpose to try and 'sucker' other players into the pot.

I've actually use this strategy with good success against other solid players, who notice such 'tricks'. So if you decide to pull this off, be sure that you've targeted the right opponent so that you are not walking into a trap. Massive all-in bets vs. For many weak players, they will wait until they have a monster hand, then push all-in, hoping someone will call them. On the other hand, the all-in is also a signal of a bluff if the bet is too large for the pot.

The reason for this logic, is that when a player has a monster hand, they are usually more interested in stringing a player along to extract the most value, rather than shoving their chips in and hoping someone calls. This is a hard tell to decipher, because the results are on the two exact opposite ends of the spectrum- you're either up against a monster or an outright bluff.

The only way to figure out where you're at, is to have paid attention to your opponent up to the point where they made this bet. Are they trying to make you fold with this bet, or are they looking to take all your chips? Are they the type to expect you to call your chips here, or are they the type to think you'll fold to this bet?

It's a difficult question to answer, but answering it right is what makes you a strong player. Question: Overcoming Tells. Hi, thanks for the great site. I had a question regarding my tells. If I flop a straight, I turn serious and people instantly know I am holding the nuts. For example, I held JQ suited, the flop came 8 9 I bet, and the person who told me I had obvious tells, folded his K 10 on the flop.

Normally, he would have raised someone with that hand. This is clearly disastrous towards my game, but when I try to get rid of this tell, my 'acting' is so awkward that again, people can easily tell. Do you have any suggestions on maintaining a solid composure to not give away my hand every time?

Answer: First of all, in poker sometimes your stuck with hands that are so obvious you can't really do much else but win a small pot. Or if you have a trips on a flop like AA4 or Your example isn't that obvious though and I'm surprised that someone would fold their KT there.

There are two things at work here. The first may be your awkwardness and the second is the texture of the hand in relation with your table image. If you are awkward, you need to pinpoint exactly what you are doing that makes it seem as though you are holding a monster.

Is it that you are acting too smoothly and quietly? Is it that you are too anxious? Try mixing up your betting styles on other hands so that it disguises your good hands a bit more. I intentionally do that in my games so people don't get a read on how I'm acting. My buddy will even actually say things sometimes when he does have good hands to throw people off.

For example, he says, "I have the nuts man! Why are you calling me? I have all of this flop! Fold man! You're beat! I don't suggest doing that unless the guy deserves it but the point is that you need to be consistently inconsistent with the way you bet not the amount but actually how you put the chips in, your pause, if you say anything and where your eyes are focused.

The better the opponent, the more subtle I am with my misinformation and most of the time it works. The nice aspect of being subtle is that people don't think you are actually trying to confuse them; instead, they think they are discovering something and it makes them more confident. Let me give you an example of a move you can do sometimes if you actually want a call. If someone bets into you, pause for a bit without touching your chips.

Then reach down for them and kind of stumble and hesitate. Then go back for your chips and push some in and say "raise" a little more forcefully then normal and stare at them for a couple seconds and then look away from the table completely until they act. In addition to the awkwardness, there is the table image you have. Obviously, if you haven't been in a hand for 3 hours and you raise, people are going to notice. Look at it this way, if you know someone else never bluffs and they raise you, it must mean something, right?

You don't want to give other players that much power over you or they can easily dodge all your hands. This is why deception is essential to playing winning poker. You need to bluff sometimes, or push hands, in the right spots. A little goes along way and it can be the difference between winning and losing overall.

You don't want people always knowing what you have and only calling you when they think they have you beat or will draw and out beat you. I would suggest that one or two times the next session you play to look for another spot like 89T and then bet. If they call you down the whole way, you get exactly what you want: all the action on future hands. If they raise you, you can always pull another dirty trick and "accidentally" expose your cards when you are throwing them in the muck pile.

The key to good poker is thinking one level above everyone else. Even if people think you are an idiot, you can use that to your advantage. What was that show on TV a while ago with the bumbling detective? Colombo, I think. He would be a good poker player because no one would give him any respect.

Our goal is to play the law of averages as opposed to blind luck, in determining whether or not calling a bet is a profitable decision. Pot odds decisions are one of poker's most elementary, yet it is one of the most common mistakes made by amateur players at all levels.

The most straightforward explanation of how to calculate pot odds is to compare the total number of unknown cards to how many outs you have, and then do some simple division. For example, if you are four to a nut flush on the turn of a Texas Hold'em game, there are 46 unknown cards, 52 minus your 2 pocket cards and 4 on the board. Of those 46 cards, 9 are the same suit as your flush draw. So 37 cards will not help you, while 9 will give you the nut flush hand.

A good poker player will only call a bet in this case, if there is already 4x that amount already in the pot. How about those inside straight draws that are so tempting to hang onto? You have 4 outs, with 46 unknown cards on the turn. You would need over 10 times the amount of your call to be in the pot already, to justify this decision. Only in a wild game of poker will this kind of call pay off in the long run.

Believe it or not, those wild games do exist online, where inside straight draws have good odds. Take a moment to check our Poker Room Reviews , for "fish factor" ratings of the various online poker rooms. Is there an easier way to calculate pot odds? Thankfully, there are several short cuts that have been devised to make a quick judgment for pot odds.

So I called. I feel like I didn't have much of a choice. Last edited: Nov 10, ChipEnvy Flush. Never ever ever. GoStumpy Flush. Your 3 bet is a bit small but you're being results oriented. I folded KK preflop once against a good friend because he only 4bets wth aces and kings Neva, eva, eva. Rhodeman77 4 of a Kind Supporting Member.

You are nowhere deep enough to even think about doing anything other than shoving the rest of your stack in. To fold KK preflop has to be a very special situation. Mostly lots of hand history with a very nitty player that has already 4 bet in front of you and much deeper stacks than this. Hopefully if that has happened you haven't put much money in and can fold.

But that is a very very very rare situation. Basically you should be happy to get it and if you lose rebuy. Quicksilver 4 of a Kind Supporting Member. Oh wait, KK? I thought you said JJ. Thanks guys. I figured this was just a shit happens situation, but I just wanted to double check. And not like II should be taking poker lessons from movies, but I felt like that like from Rounders when he says sometimes it's about putting you opponent into a decision for his chips.

In this situation, I thought I was given an easy decision. Rhodeman77 said:. DrStrange Full House. Never folding with medium to short stacks. Jimulacrum Flush. DrStrange said:. AWenger Flush. That's a good question, and something I don't think I consciously considered. I'm not sure what the other two had, but I'm thinking that because I'm not sure, it was probably under each.

Even when you're behind you're not. Woke up with AA. Got in against 1 player. Flops an A to hit a set. Other guy checks and my buddy puts in a continuation bet. Other guy calls. K on the turn. Other guy bets, my buddy moves all in. Dude calls. Pocket AA against pocket KK. Both have sets. K on the river. Moral of the story Trihonda Straight Flush Moderator. Supporting Member. I've folded KK, and would have folded AA in the same situation At another table, there a couple ppl with close to bbs.

They were in continual jeopardy of busting. There's no reason to chip up, just survive! I folded KK in this spot. A guy with 8bbs shoves with aces, and got 6 callers. He busted out, and the guy with 1bb left at the other table wins a main event seat, lol. Yup, tournament play is different. I remember folding Queens once in a tournament. After I put in a big raise preflop, another guy put in a big reraise and the next guy reraised him.

I got the hell out. But I was pretty bummed when the a Q came on the turn or the river. You made the right call. I would have done the same. Live players are a funky bunch. Tournaments are a different story. Maybe in a very rare bubble situation or a weird massive multiway as described above, that's about it. Joined Oct 28, Messages 10, Reaction score 10,

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SCOOP 6 BETTING

They get dealt AA or KK and then think they are guaranteed to win. That's not so. The best case scenario if you are dealt Aces is someone else has a hand they are raising with pre-flop. If that isn't the case I don't mess around with these hands. I'll play them straight forward and take my little pot. I'll raise pre-flop, then put a decent bet in on the flop and bigger on the turn. My goal if no one else has a big starting hand is just to win some, not a lot.

Remember one pair isn't that great and if you get tons of action after the flop then you are in trouble. I don't make the majority of my money with big hands like this. Don't be discouraged if you finally get Aces and then win only a little with them. One tactic that sometimes will win a big pot is to feign weakness on the flop with your Aces. For example, if the flop comes back Jack high and you have Aces, waiting for a while and then only betting half the pot sometimes gets people to check raise or raise a large amount because they put you on AK.

Then you just call and then put them all-in on the turn card. That happened to me last night and I got a good player to lose his whole stack to me. I think out of all the hands in no limit, these are the toughest to play well. The best advice I can give is don't lose all your chips calling all-in with Queens or Jacks pre-flop.

Being able to not lose a bunch in that situation is a sign you're doing something right. The tell tale sign of AA or KK is if you raise a good amount and then get re-raised or re-raised all-in by an unimaginative player. If I just get re-raised I'll most likely call. If the person has a bunch of chips and goes all-in then I'm going to have to look hard at the situation. How much it is going to cost me is another thing I look at in this situation.

Or if the person is a wild player that raises a lot of hands and you don't know if they have anything, let alone a good hand then go ahead and do the dirty dance. Also understand that calling the re-raise and seeing the flop is only the start. Most likely all the money will go in by showdown. My goal in trouble spots like this is to just break even. If I can make a few reads here and there and win a few pots and then make a few mistakes and lose a few I'm ok with it.

My advice with these cards is to play them but be careful. I play these cards pretty weakly. If I flop something big like top two pair then of course I'll play more aggressively and try to win more but with just top pair I'm careful. I will bet but I'm not going to get married to the pot. What you want to avoid like the plague is calling big pre-flop raises with these, flopping top pair and paying off the raiser. That's how you lose fast in no limit poker. I will limp in with these hands from early position but if someone raises a good amount, I'm out unless lots of other people are in.

I'll need a really strong flop to continue. There is no way I'll limp in with KJs, call a pre-flop raise, and then call all the way down with top pair hoping I'm good. If you don't have the initiative in the hand doing the betting , there is a reason.

Small Pocket Pairs - Of all the hands in no limit hold'em, these are my favorites. They play themselves and when they hit, you are "set". My ideal situation is when I limp in with a small pocket pair in early position, get raised a decent amount from someone with a big pair or AK and then I call and flop trips. I'll call pre-flop with these hands as long as the raise isn't too much and the person has enough chips in front of them or alternatively other people are in the hand too.

Having pocket deuces is no different then having pocket fives or sevens. You won't continue on the flop unless you hit or you see a bluffing opportunity in which case the denomination of your cards doesn't matter either. Pocket eights and up can win without improving but it's rare you'll get much action in those situations.

Suited Cards - In no limit hold'em I don't make a big distinction between a suited connector 67s and two suited cards T6s. In either case you are going to need a big flop to make much with the hand. In limit poker having the suited cards connected really helps out a lot but in no limit it doesn't matter as much. With these cards I'll limp in late position, sometimes in the front if they are decent cards.

I particularly like the smaller suited cards like 35s or 46s. The reason is because if no one raised pre-flop it usually means someone is out there with a "weak ace" A5, A6, A2, A3, etc. Sometimes you'll flop the straight and they will have two pair, in which case you can sting them nicely. Staying Out Of Trouble - In limit hold'em much of the play is in the middle. What I mean by that is you win the majority of your money by just having decent hands -- top pair and betting it down. For example, you have KQ, raise, flop top pair, and bet it down and win.

To play no limit well you need to adjust your thinking. In no limit you want either a great hand or a trash hand. You don't want a lot of stuff in the middle since a mistake can cost you your whole stack. This is why you would prefer to have 33 against a raiser instead of AJ or KQ. Remember we aren't playing tournaments here, we are playing ring games for money.

That's a big distinction. If you have already played hold'em for sometime then these answers may pop right out; it isn't obvious though to a beginner and it is funny that many people who have been playing for decades still can't seem to get it straight. Certain hands perform better in certain situations then they would in others.

The reason a hand like K7s sucks is because it has very little chance to win obviously! The ways it can win are either very unlikely to happen, or you won't be able to play with much strength when they do. What exactly are you trying to catch when you play a hand like K7s? If you catch your King, then most likely your 7 kicker will be beaten. If you catch your 7 as top pair, you will most likely lose to over-cards hitting on the turn or river. Remember the odds of catching a flush draw on the flop aren't high either check the probabilities table here.

This hand also can't make a straight unless it is only one card. To catch two pair with it or to make trips in a weird way is also very unlikely. So the bottom line is, these hands don't make money unless you get lucky and luck doesn't pan out often or it wouldn't be called luck. So with these kinds of crappy cards you really want to watch out. Either avoid them completely or only play them out of your blinds when it is very cheap. Any Ace unsuited hand below AT is in my book a trouble hand.

Some people might even consider AT and AJ trouble hands too but for the games you are going to be playing in they are adequate starting hands. The reason A8, A7, A5 all suck is because you really can't hit much to win.

Take A8 for example. Your kicker isn't that great, the 8, and you have no chance of hitting any straights or flushes. The only way you can win really is to hope that they have a weaker Ace then you do and you catch one.

Like I mentioned in another article on here, playing poker well is like investing. You want to put your money in good opportunities that have a chance for a nice return and A8 off isn't that. Now to answer the question of ATs and above and A5s and below versus A9s A8s A7s A6s, I like the first ones because you can also make a straight with them. I would take A5s over A8s because the A and the 5 can work together to make a straight, unlike the A8s. When you play weak Aces though like A5s, you have to be extra cautious if you catch an Ace on the flop.

You won't be sure if your kicker is good or not so you'll have to use some more thinking. Playing these only in later positions can help you make better decisions because people will check most likely if they don't have the A or that hand beat. Remember the scenario above when you were in the big blind, everyone is in the hand so far, and you look down and see two beautiful black Aces looking up at you? My heart usually starts going a mile a minute and then I look up to see that everyone has already called and my chances to win are slim.

Big hands like this rarely win when there are that many people calling pre-flop. The reason is that it is very hard for AA to improve to anything more then just one pair. And in those big multi-way pots usually two pair or greater drags the chips. In that situation I may actually try to check raise on the flop instead of betting right now.

The idea would be to try to cut off some people in the middle and make them fold. Limiting the field increases my chances to win with that hand. I love little suited connectors in low limit hold'em. The reason is that I rarely get into trouble with them. When I hit something, it is usually really strong and when I miss it is an easy fold.

This untrue for hands like AA and KK. With those you are pretty much married to the pot unless someone really makes it apparent that you are the loser. A hand like JTs and 89s are ideal for playing against big multi-action. The best situation would be if you are on the button or even in the big blind and every person calls before you.

I would even raise there a lot of the time to just get more money in the pot. The reason these play well and favor large pots is because they are drawing to flushes and straights. They need lots of people in the hand to justify the cost of playing them. And they do well in that situation because when they make their hand they are hard to beat.

Below, I have categorized thirteen types of starting hands, in order of their value. The statistics are borrowed from www. Some people count Jacks as high pairs, but I do not as they are not statistically matched to the value of other high pairs.

My advice is Raise Pre-Flop and drive the garbage out. If you are in a late position, then you do not need to raise if someone else has driven out the garbage for you. However, if you are in the blind and someone else has raised, you might want to re-raise in order to increase the size of the pot from one more round of betting, and to drive out someone like a small blind who may have limped in with a mediocre hand.

If you fail to raise above the big blind and get beat by someone with a suited non-connector, it will be your own fault. If no one else has raised, it is your job to do so in every case. These are legitimately the best hands in poker, so rather than jam the pot and re-raise pre-flop you should probably just call the raise, or slow-bet. If someone else has raised ahead of you, the garbage will be cleared and you can wait till the flop to reveal a betting strategy.

If you flop a King and Ace, and you are holding two King, you will be in the driver's seat and no one will know what hit them. ODDS: You are going to land any given pair every hands you play, so a pocket pair of aces is extremely rare.

Assuming you play hands a night, it will only happen every other night. The chance of landing one of the high pairs, however, is once in every 73 hands, so it should happen to you once every evening. Don't lose out on that opportunity. These are medium pairs because odds are that an over card will flop more than half of the time. Even though the odds of winning with a pair of Jacks is You are hoping for trips so, but if you don't land them, only continue if you have the high pair possible, and then bet high to throw out the single face cards in the hole.

Do not be suckered by landing another board pair, giving you two pair. Either someone else has trips or someone with a face card will get the high pair on the turn or river. ODDS: The chance of landing any pocket pair of sevens or higher is the same as landing two cards ten or higher. These events happen every 5. Because you hold the ace, any draw to a straight is a close-end straight, so your odds are lower than an open-end straight.

ODDS: You will receive two suited cards every 3. Most people stay in and raise with this hand. If you pair the face card, you will have the high kicker, and if you pair the ace, you will probably have a higher kicker than anyone else. If you draw to a straight, you will beat other straights and at least split the pot. This is not a hand to go heads up against someone with. This is best played in late position with a lot of callers already in the pot, giving you higher pot odds for a flush draw.

This is also a good hand for stealing the blinds if you are on the button, because at least you have one ace in the hole. Mostly, though, I like to play this hand only in No Limit Hold'em because I may need to stay in to the river to get my cards, and I want to be able to go all-in and make a big score if I have the high flush.

Earning a minor pot on such low odds just doesn't make as much sense. The probability of making a flush, therefore, is 15 to 1 against, meaning that you should really only enter the pot if there are 15 other players in, which never happens, so playing these cards with any regularity is a losing proposition. If you are on the button, and the flop is cheap, and you do go with Ace-Low suited, then you should fold unless you immediately receive either two cards that match your hole cards or a four flush.

The probability of flopping a four-flush is 8. When betting on the turn hoping for flush, you really want at least three people in the pot, or enough money for three in the pot. All low pairs are questionable investments at best. If you have a low pair and you flop a open-end straight draw, stay in, because you own TWO of the hole cards needed for the straight, lowering the odds that you will have to split the pot.

ODDS: You are going to land a pocket pair about once every 16 hands so don't get too excited about the lower pairs. Half the time, your pocket pairs will be high or medium pairs. Stick to those. If you take a pocket pair to the river, you have a 4. However, I don't bet on low pairs EVER, because it is more likely that someone else will take a straight or a flush or higher trips or a full house to the river and beat my low trips.

With low pairs, I would never want to stay in unless I saw trips on the flop, and the chances of that are 7. These cards should be considered the same value as low pairs, except with a low pair, at least you know if you have trips on the flop. With a King Flush draw, you could have the ace on the flop, and still not get the flush on fifth street, so this is a potentially costly hand. See the section on " Sucker Hands " for more info.

Most players stay in with any ace, especially if you are playing with less than 10 at a table. If you draw to a flush or a straight ONLY, however, you are in serious risk of losing to larger straights or flushes. Don't get too excited about these cards because they share the same suit.

I generally fold all suited connectors, occasionally keeping a QJ or JT if I am in late position and several players are in and none have raised. If, after the flop, your hole card is at the low end of the straight, this is a classic " Sucker Hand. My attitude is that if you love suited connectors pre-flop, you might as well get equally excited about any low straight draw. ODDS: You will receive a suited connector once every 46 hands or 2. Like suited connectors, only stay in if the pot is big because there are lots of other players calling pre-flop.

Two low cards not in order is a Trash hand, and is not a Low Straight draw even if they are separated by only one card. Also, in the pocket is the worst possible hand in poker even it if is a straight draw. This is a loser hand. The only reason anyone stays in with these hands is that the flop was so cheap that the couldn't say no, such as being in the big blind with no raises.

If you get a trash hand, and you are in the small blind, only consider calling if everyone else has and if you are sure that the person in the big blind won't raise you. Only play strong hands that will stand a raise or multiple raises from early betting positions. You have about a 1 in 8 chance of hitting a set when you hold a pocket pair. After you fold, don't watch the flop, watch the other players.

If you don't know how to calculate poker odds and pot odds you will have a hard time making correct decisions in difficult situations. What are the chances of hitting a flush draw? What are the chances of your pocket pair improving to a set on the flop. You will find the answers to these questions, and many more, on this page. It's difficult to memorize all this information, but you should at least have a basic understanding of this if you want to become a winning Texas Hold'em player.

For example, players with no insight into the issue of pot odds versus winning chances can often be seen folding on the river against bets that are just a tiny fraction of the pot size, ignoring the fact that calling would be motivated by virtue of even the lowest bluff frequency on the part of the opponent. Position is simply where you are sitting in relation to the dealer's button. In hold'em and many other poker games, your position at the table is a big factor.

The strength of your position comes from the fact that the betting goes in a clockwise fashion. In a favorable position you get to see how many other players react to their hands and whether they fold, bet, or call before you do. The poker phrase, "Position is power" comes from this simple idea. There are many names associated with position to identify where players are sitting in relation to the dealer's button.

Each particular position has its own strengths or weaknesses. The small blind has the worst position after the flop and must invest half a bet. The big blind invests an entire bet and similarly has a poor position. The player under the gun has the worst position pre-flop and a junk position afterwards. The button has the best position during any betting round. The importance of your position depends on many factors.

For example, in no limit hold'em, position is much more important than in limit hold'em. It is always better to be in an late position though, so it is important to identify what hands are generally playable in all positions. For example, lets say you're under the gun. You have Queen-Ten, unsuited and decide to limp into the pot. The player to bet after you raises, and everyone but you folds.. Now you're in a jam.

Chances are good that this player has a better hand than you. If they have any ace, king, or pocket pair, they are statistically better than you. You'd suspect that someone who raised has at least a hand like that. Now you can either call again and go into the flop as an underdog or you can fold and just give up a bet.

What's worse is that if you call, you will be acting before this player for the rest of the hand. On the other hand, let's say you're on the button. You have Queen-Ten, unsuited and everybody folds to you. One option would be to fold and let the blinds fight it out. Another would be the just call and see what happens on the flop. Many players here would raise because you could steal the blinds and even if you didn't, you'd act after them for the remainder of the hand.

Raising is only a viable option because of your favorable position. Another notable factor is that position goes hand in hand with knowing the players directly around you. For example, an aggressive, blind-stealing player to the immediate right of a tight player usually results in the tight player's blinds getting stolen.

Being in late position with a good hand has major strengths over being early with a good hand. Early position raisers are assumed to have a good hand and it tends to scare players away. Early pre-flop raises can force the other players to call two bets at once or more in the case of pot limit or no limit hold'em when there is nearly nothing in the pot worth fighting for.

In late position, there may be players who have already called one bet. Those players only have to call one bet in limit with a little something already in the pot. So players in late position with a good hand have the ability to manipulate the pot size, which will make future bets easier to call in the upcoming betting rounds. Acting after opponents is valuable because you garner clues about their hands while giving out minimal information regarding your own.

Also, against one or two opponents, you can often take the pot with a mere bet if they've checked to you. In most things in life, you hate being last. In poker, you'll learn to love it. Whenever you make an incorrect move up front, you run the risk of rendering each subsequent decision incorrect as well.

That's why your choice of starting hands is usually much more critical than how you play on future betting rounds. When you're losing, consider gearing down. Losing means it's time for lots of traction and not much speed. It's a time for playing only the best starting hands. Not marginal hands, not good or even very good starting hands, but only the best hands. That means you'll throw away hand after hand. It takes discipline to do this, particularly when some of the hands would have won.

But here's the recipe for gearing down: Stay away from troublesome, marginal hands. Go with the gold. Make opponents pay to draw out on you. Most of the time they won't get lucky, and that extra money in the pot will wind up in your stack of chips. Never play weak starting hands from early position. Your position is of vital importance in deciding whether to open the pot. As detailed earlier, you should strive to play most of your hands from late position, since this allows you to ascertain more accurately the strength of your opponents.

At no point in the hand is this more evident than in deciding whether to open a pot for a raise. Very few hands should be played from early position, which can be classified as the first three seats in a handed game. This is because the poorer players will be calling your raises with worse hands than these, which would not necessarily be the case in tighter games. If the other players have folded to you and you are sitting in any middle position, you can add a few more hands to your opening range.

Now, pairs such as are definitely worth a raise, as are big suited cards such as A-J or K-Q. A-Q off suit is also worth raising now. The hands , A-T suited, and A-J off suit are marginal here, becoming more playable in later middle position. On the button, you can dramatically expand your playbook when it's folded to you.

The primary reason for this is that you have only the blinds to contend with, meaning that even if they should decide to defend call from a blind position in a raised pot , you will hold position on them for the remainder of the hand. Pairs such as should be played in virtually every situation, and you can raise with the baby pairs too, if the blinds are either very tight or poor players.

You want to capitalize on players who play too tight in the blinds by raising them at every opportunity. When a poor player is in the blind and you hold the button, you shouldn't mind playing quite a variety of hands either, as you hold position on this inferior player for the rest of the hand. This is a good way to attract chips your way.

In addition to any pair, you can open on the button with hands as weak as K-T or Q-T off suit, or with suited hands such as K The button is the one time you may wish to open with a drawing hand. Again, position is a major reason, along with the fact that if both blinds fold, you win the pot right away. Even if you do get called, your position and aggression will often allow you to pick up the pot with a bet on the flop.

Suppose playing Texas Hold'em you are under the gun with a marginal hand like KJo. What should you do? Some learning players would immediately consult their starting hand charts, either literally or in their memory, and then decide what action to take. Unfortunately, rigid adherence to artificial charts is the root of ruin of many people who might otherwise become quite good poker players. A lot of these players may in fact become winning players, especially in rake games where the house takes its cut from the pot rather than equally from each player, but I suggest most players relying on starting hand charts are either doomed to never be much good at poker, or will end up as merely mediocre.

Strong, solid winning poker is all about situational analyses. Every situation is somewhere between slightly different and very different from other situations -- even if you hold the very same cards! KJo is just not KJo, even if the situations appear the same on the surface. Ideally, you would want to play with these two loose players with this hand.

The correct play here will often be to raise with the KJo, and much of the time get to play against the two weak players in the blinds. Well, now your KJo is a pile of muckable junk. At the very least, it should be easy to see that these two situations are extremely different from each other.

Whatever value KJ has in the first scenario with weak players behind you and in the blinds, it has less value with aggressive players in those positions. A solid, sensible player should consult his or her brain when facing these very different circumstances -- not some silly chart divorced from reality. What you do in a poker game depends on the game conditions, the players in the blind, who has acted so far, who won or lost the previous pots, and so on. A dozen or more factors should go into your thought process of why a hand should be played, and how it should be played.

Another example is: Suppose two super-tight players are in the blinds and you are one behind the button. The universe of hands you should play for a raise here is simple: every single two-card combination from AA to 72o. No starting hand chart can tell you that. Observing the people does. When I was a kid, the Moms in the neighborhood had discussions about the best way to teach a five year-old how to ride a bicycle.

Some supported using training wheels. Others thought "ride and fall" was the best way. While the training wheel kids started off great, zipping around on their big bikes while the other kids were crashing into hedges, soon the freewheeling kids passed the training wheels kids, by far too.

Starting hand charts are training wheels, crutches. They keep you from actually doing the stuff of playing of poker: critical, situational, analytical thinking. A rank amateur can look at a starting hand chart once and get some ideas about hands, but a chart itself is meaningless for one look. All that needs to be done is novices need to be told tendencies, like you should tend to play stronger hands out of position than you need to play in position.

Starting hand charts lead to people thinking totally wrong in terms of how to play poker. They send you down the wrong road. They give you a bad crutch. They are simply just about the worst possible tool for a learning player to use. Simplistic, robotic strategies can lead to a player doing decently since most players play poorly but robots miss out on profit the thoughtful players get, and robots present no threat to a genuinely strong player.

Memorization of starting hand charts is a recipe for permanent mediocrity. Position, patience, and power are the keys to winning. Making good hand selections is the most critical part of the game and determines whether or not you are successful in winning hands. Most players lose because they play too many hands. The best two card starting hand is A-A.

The worst starting hand is unsuited. Being aware of your position at the table in relation to the dealer is also a factor. You need a stronger hand to act from an " early position " because you have more players acting after you who may raise or re-raise the pot. It is important that you wait for a strong starting hand to play if you are in an early position. The player to the left of the big blind, the third player to the left of the dealer, acts first after the pocket cards are dealt and before the flop.

He or she is considered to be in early position. Depending on how many players are at the table, the next player could also be considered to be in early position. The next player or players are in " middle position ". They are the players after the early position and are usually considered to be the fifth, sixth, and seventh positions to the left of the dealer. The two players to the right of the dealer are considered to be in " late position " and bet last.

It takes a stronger hand to call a raise than it does to make one. If there is a raise before it is your turn to act, you should fold. Most players will not raise pre-flop unless they have a good starting hand. Most players will play any two suited cards from any position, and they will play ace with any small second " kicker " card.

These hands are losers in the long run and should be evaluated carefully. Many players feel they must call all raises if they have put in the small or big blind bets even if they only have a marginal hand. Before you start betting like a madman when you get two eights in the pocket, you need to carefully consider all factors involved in solid pre-flop strategy. Number of players: With 10 people in the game, it's much more likely that someone else has a strong hand in the pocket than in a short-handed game.

Also, you'll need to be more cautious in larger games, as the chances of someone's pre-flop hand fitting the flop will be much better. More competition means stiffer competition. How aggressive the players are: Assuming you've been playing with a few people for several hands, and you noticed some jackass is raising every hand pre-flop, you'll want to play tighter.

Let the guy win the blinds big deal and nail him to the wall when you have a solid hand in the pocket pre-flop. You'll want to be all-in before the flop is dealt. Your position: People in late position have the ability to influence the size of the pot much more than those in early position. This is especially true pre-flop. Your tolerance for risk: Depending on your playing style, you may want to play more or less aggressively pre-flop.

Players who shoot for larger pots, but don't mind a greater chance for losing a few hands will want to raise pre-flop, especially if they are in late position. Some players prefer to be as selective as possible pre-flop, grinding out a winning hand here or there. It really depends on your own style of play, and how you perceive the players around you.

You might also want to consider what cards you have in your hand. Naturally, AA is the best to start with. It helps if your hand is suited or if the cards are sequential in rank like a Seven and an Eight "connected". It's important to understand how your two cards hold up against other combinations of cards though.

I good discussion of pre-flop hands can be found on our pre-flop hand comparison page. For specific statistics on how your two specific cards interact with the flop, try our pre-flop calculator. There are many mistakes being made pre-flop. To fix the leaks in your game I suggest you follow the following pre-flop strategy until you get a feel of the game and the players that you are playing with. Call: NONE. Sometime you don't raise exactly as this chart says.

You are only raising as this chart says when you have no raises before you and few players calling before you. This chart represents the raises you should make if you have players calling before you. A bet is a declaration that either: a "I have the best hand and I'll wager money on it" or b "You have a poor hand, and you will fold if you are forced to wager on it". Typically, players are supposed to bet when they have a good hand.

Players who don't have good hands are supposed to fold. Of course, if it was this simple, there would be no need for this page. You might as well wager on Tic-Tac-Toe. Most players play contrary to this idea, attempting to be a cunning or deceptive player. Don't fall into this trap when you are just learning to play. Your betting strategy should be built upon this simple idea, but you must know when to stray and bet in situations when you otherwise wouldn't.

Here are some situations you should start looking at to improve your game:. This is because the blinds may fold, whereas if you didn't raise but simply called, the blinds would simply check. Its a good way to make a buck or two, but will never make you rich. Its more of a way to end the game fast and have a new hand dealt with more players and more money. Don't use this exclusively, as better players will be onto you quickly and begin check-raising against your most likely poor hand.

It is good to use a steal raise when you have an excellent drawing hand such as a nut flush draw. Players will tend to "check to the raiser". If you draw to your hand, you now have a larger pot to win. If you don't, you can always check, and hope the fifth card makes your hand. Your intention is to lure them into a false sense of security so that you can raise them and increase the pot remember, after one bet is committed, its more likely they'll commit to two. It is when the person first to act raises, making all other players call two bets at once.

Its intention is to limit the number of players. Basically, this move amounts to a backwards steal-raise. The effect will almost certainly cause many players to fold, but the ones remaining will either be equally aggressive or truly have a great hand. This is also known as betting for information. This tactic is best used with few players in on the hand. It's betting when you have a good hand currently, and you suspect another player or players may be on a draw.

For example, you have top pair with the best kicker. Chances are they won't make their draw be it a straight or a flush draw, etc. Your goal is to limit their pot odds. Let me start off by saying what is typical. You'll see people raising different amounts, sometimes much more then that or just doubling the big blind, but by and large it is usually about 3 or 4 times the big blind.

So is that how much you should raise? Maybe, maybe not. How much you should raise pre-flop depends on who you are playing with and what you want to accomplish. I've heard many players talk about how raising the same amount pre-flop and betting the same amount post flop the size of the pot for example is good because you don't give away any information about the strength of your hand.

In other words people can't look at how much you are betting and getting a better read on what you have. I don't buy into that. I think that varying your amounts is much more advantageous to winning money. You need to be flexible and see opportunities to where you can maximize your return.

If a guy is willing to call with all of his money, why would you want to only bet the size of the pot? Let me give you some different scenarios. Your goal with the raise is to cut down the competition and get one or two callers. In this case you can raise much more then you normally would for a few reasons: one, there are already a lot of people in and the likelihood of getting called by a couple of them is high; two, there is already a lot of money in the pot; three, you want to get out of a bunch of the hands since your hand doesn't play well against a lot of people.

Another scenario might be if you have a really bad player at the table who doesn't seem to ever fold pre-flop if he has already called the big blind. If you find a person like that, then by all means raise as much as you can without making him fold.

It's very common to find players like this and when you do, make sure you get as much of their money as you can before someone else does. This is where paying attention comes in handy. Post flop play again depends on two things, what you want to accomplish and who your opponents are. Let me give another few scenarios. Let's say that you have flopped a set of 7s and you are fairly sure that the person you are against has a big hand since he raised pre-flop.

This is a prime money making opportunity. Your goal here is not to shut him out on the flop. You want to do whatever you can to make him put all his money in the middle. This might be calling the flop and then check raising the turn card. Or you may want to bet some into him and pretend like you have a marginal hand, then call his raise and check raise the turn, etc. See it all depends on what you think the best way to get all his money might be.

Another extreme is when you don't want anyone to call. Let's say for example you have T9 and the flop is T You really don't want anyone to call here so you better come out swinging. What you are trying to do is make it unprofitable for someone to call with a draw. Lastly, let's say you flop top pair with a decent hand.

Betting the size of the pot is fine here. What are some of the hands my opponents are likely to hold? What do my opponents think I have? If I think I can force weak opponents out of the pot with this bet or with future bets, I nearly always answer "Yes" and I bet or raise.

If I think my opponents are strong, I nearly always answer "Yes" and check or fold. After a careful analysis, if I'm not sure if I should raise and I'm not sure I should fold, I feel confident that calling a bet or checking is correct. I find that even in straight-forward and obvious situations, by running through the script I often find opportunities that other players might miss.

And by asking the "raise" question before the "fold" and "call" question, I ensure that I am playing aggressive, winning poker. Try using this script next time you sit down at the table, and see if simplifying your inner dialog forces your opponents into making more complicated decisions. Calling a hand means putting money in the pot to match a bet that has been made before your turn to act.

In order to play your starting hand, your two pocket cards, you must call the big blind bet and any other raises that are made before the action gets to you. If a player after you re-raises the bet, you will have to match that amount as well to stay in the hand. The number one reason that players lose money is that they play too many hands. This means they call too much. The most important decision a player can make is deciding which starting hands to play. You want to play a starting hand if you have a pocket pair or if you have a high probability of drawing a hand in the flop.

The strength of your hand Your position in the betting round How many players have entered the pot If the pot was raised in front of you. You need a stronger hand to call from an earlier betting position, such as being the first or second person to act, than you do in a later position, being one of the last two players to act.

The term " limping in " is used when you enter a pot by just calling the big blind bet. If you limp in from an early position, you take the risk that a player betting after you may raise the pot. If this happens, you either have to call, or match, the raise, fold, or re-raise. When deciding whether or not to play a hand, you should ask yourself if you are willing to call the pot if it is raised.

If you have a marginal hand, you may want to dump it by folding it instead of calling. In later positions, you will have more information about your opponents and the possible strengths of their hands. When deciding whether to continue after a flop, you should use the " fit or fold " strategy. If the flop gives you a hand or makes your hand stronger, you should go ahead and continue by calling. If it improves your hand by giving you a pair, two pair, or better If it gives you a good draw by giving you four cards of a flush If it gives you a good draw by giving you four cards of a straight If you started with a big pocket pair.

Too much money is lost by players who hope to catch a miracle card on the river, the last community card. If another player raises on the turn and you only hold a pair, you are likely to lose and should fold. If there is a slight chance you may have the winning hand, you should risk one more bet and call.

This is to avoid the classic stare down that poker pros are famous for. They may try to study your face for nervousness detecting a weak hand , or even look for repetitive characteristics like a body "tic". You may have obvious unhappiness in your face when your hand is weak, and conversely, you may show a contrasting show of confidence when your hand is strong.

Physical changes happen including flexing of muscles, eye pupil dilation, palpitating heart rate, dry throat. In poker, when someone has a big hand they are typically ready for confrontation and can exhibit some of these characteristics. You may see the chest expanding abnormally, or you may notice the players voice become slightly higher as he makes a comment.

Some of the top players in the game will stare at the vein on the top-side of your face for blood pressure changes. During a bluff, the player may demonstrate anxiety, but if he knows he will fold the hand if re-raised non-confrontational end may look quite comfortable. It is common for players to quickly glance at their chips if they connect with the board after a Flop for example.

This may be a subconscious reaction, but the player is already planning his attack. For example, maybe the player always checks when he has made the nuts, or a player may regularly fold after being re-raised. Here is a listing of general online poker tells that you will often see. The concept that you should keep in mind when deciphering tells is to remember the following: The golden rule of tells is that a strong opponent will try to act weak, while a weak opponent will try to act strong.

The irony is that by using this strategy, they are actually giving off their own tell. The whole logic behind this play screams strength, because people usually only do it when there is a big possible hand on the table, like a flush or straight. You bet, your opponent pauses for about seconds and then raises you. In English, he might as well be saying: "Hmm Man, I really have to think about this because you might have a really strong hand!

Don't fall for this. Sometimes, a player legitimately thinks you're bluffing the river or whatever so he's raising you back, but most of the time he's got a big hand. While occasionally this is used by maniacs and bluffers, most of the time it's used by a player who is so sure of his hand that he is willing to bet or raise regardless of the action.

This usually means that you want to tread carefully and consider folding or check-calling this down. It should always raise a big warning sign at the very least. Sometimes players will be willing to call after auto-checking, but it's incredibly rare to see someone check-raise with the auto-check button.

So, when you're in a small field and it's auto-checked to you, you can often take down the pot right then and there. When a player does this, you shouldn't look into it either way. Some players do this routinely to throw off their opponents, others do this to make their bet size look bigger and scarier induce folds , while others try to get you to call when doing this. With reverse psychology, you can figure out that this is an intimidation ploy, because if they did have a strong hand, they'd be raising your bet instead of flat calling.

In this situation, you can often continue to bet as normal. That said, some players on tilt or experienced players will often make quick calls, as they really do intend on calling to the river. More often than not, this should indicate a weak hand, as the size of this bet doesn't protect the bettor's hand from being outdrawn.

Quite often though, you'll see these small bets pick up the pot, as the person who bets is usually in good position to make this bet. If you are looking to improve your game, you should sometimes consider a check-raise in this situation. If you timed your play correctly, your opponent will have nothing and will be forced to fold, awarding you the pot.

Warning: Many players will often do this on purpose to try and 'sucker' other players into the pot. I've actually use this strategy with good success against other solid players, who notice such 'tricks'. So if you decide to pull this off, be sure that you've targeted the right opponent so that you are not walking into a trap.

Massive all-in bets vs. For many weak players, they will wait until they have a monster hand, then push all-in, hoping someone will call them. On the other hand, the all-in is also a signal of a bluff if the bet is too large for the pot. The reason for this logic, is that when a player has a monster hand, they are usually more interested in stringing a player along to extract the most value, rather than shoving their chips in and hoping someone calls.

This is a hard tell to decipher, because the results are on the two exact opposite ends of the spectrum- you're either up against a monster or an outright bluff. The only way to figure out where you're at, is to have paid attention to your opponent up to the point where they made this bet. Are they trying to make you fold with this bet, or are they looking to take all your chips?

Are they the type to expect you to call your chips here, or are they the type to think you'll fold to this bet? It's a difficult question to answer, but answering it right is what makes you a strong player. Question: Overcoming Tells. Hi, thanks for the great site. I had a question regarding my tells. If I flop a straight, I turn serious and people instantly know I am holding the nuts. For example, I held JQ suited, the flop came 8 9 I bet, and the person who told me I had obvious tells, folded his K 10 on the flop.

Normally, he would have raised someone with that hand. This is clearly disastrous towards my game, but when I try to get rid of this tell, my 'acting' is so awkward that again, people can easily tell. Do you have any suggestions on maintaining a solid composure to not give away my hand every time? Answer: First of all, in poker sometimes your stuck with hands that are so obvious you can't really do much else but win a small pot. Or if you have a trips on a flop like AA4 or Your example isn't that obvious though and I'm surprised that someone would fold their KT there.

There are two things at work here. The first may be your awkwardness and the second is the texture of the hand in relation with your table image. If you are awkward, you need to pinpoint exactly what you are doing that makes it seem as though you are holding a monster.

Is it that you are acting too smoothly and quietly? Is it that you are too anxious? Try mixing up your betting styles on other hands so that it disguises your good hands a bit more. I intentionally do that in my games so people don't get a read on how I'm acting.

My buddy will even actually say things sometimes when he does have good hands to throw people off. For example, he says, "I have the nuts man! Why are you calling me? I have all of this flop! Fold man! You're beat! I don't suggest doing that unless the guy deserves it but the point is that you need to be consistently inconsistent with the way you bet not the amount but actually how you put the chips in, your pause, if you say anything and where your eyes are focused.

The better the opponent, the more subtle I am with my misinformation and most of the time it works. The nice aspect of being subtle is that people don't think you are actually trying to confuse them; instead, they think they are discovering something and it makes them more confident. Let me give you an example of a move you can do sometimes if you actually want a call. If someone bets into you, pause for a bit without touching your chips. Then reach down for them and kind of stumble and hesitate.

Then go back for your chips and push some in and say "raise" a little more forcefully then normal and stare at them for a couple seconds and then look away from the table completely until they act. In addition to the awkwardness, there is the table image you have. Obviously, if you haven't been in a hand for 3 hours and you raise, people are going to notice.

Look at it this way, if you know someone else never bluffs and they raise you, it must mean something, right? You don't want to give other players that much power over you or they can easily dodge all your hands. This is why deception is essential to playing winning poker. You need to bluff sometimes, or push hands, in the right spots.

A little goes along way and it can be the difference between winning and losing overall. Since opponent is almost always shoving or folding you do not need to consider position when 4-Betting. If you start 4-Betting too much it will soon be noticed by either the player you are attacking or by other players and they can start exploiting this. Occasionally you can of course do it with other hands because of game dynamics, but be careful not to overdo it. Opponent on the button 3-Bets to 9 and you min-raise to The pot is now 28,5 and opponent has 9 to call.

This will give odds of over on the call which can make calling profitable with most cards depending your range and tendencies of course. If you 4-Bet to higher percentage of the effective stack size you will be unable to fold any of the hands you are 4-Betting with. This takes away the opportunity for opponent to shove with weaker hands since he will have no fold equity.

Example: Same as above with effective stack size of big blinds. In this case you decide to raise to 35 instead of If opponent decides to shove you will be getting odds of on calling. When you are considering calling an all-in you mainly consider what your opponents range is and what your pot odds are. Sometimes you also need to consider game dynamics for example putting people on tilt — or keeping a fish in the game.

In tournaments you should also consider your skill advantage and bubble effect you want to avoid getting broke when there are bubble effects in the play. When someone has raised before you, you should normally raise or fold. Under some circumstances you can consider cold calling. You should normally raise if you believe your hand will be better than your opponents in average. This means that your hand should be within the range of the upper half of your opponents range.

The size of the raise should normally be 3 times the size of opponents raise. If there is a very aggressive 4-Bettor acting behind you or if original raiser is an aggressive 4-Better and your hand is not good enough for all-in you should probably just fold. You have a good opportunity to 3-Bet light if opponent is folding a lot to 3-Bets. There is a lot of debate in the poker community on whether to 3-Bet light with a merged or polarized range.

A merged range means just adding more hands from top of range. A polarized range means adding weaker hands as bluffs. My view on this is that I prefer a polarized range. Would you prefer adding KJs to your range or 98s? I prefer 98s for two reasons:. If I am in the blinds I take it down two notches since I will be out of position if opponent calls — and they call much more often in this situation. The fold to 3-Bet percentages above should be taken as the likelihood that opponent will fold in this hand — not his general stats.

In this scenario you should consider tightening your value range rather than thinking about more bluffs. If out-of-position , you should almost always 4-Bet or fold. Only exceptions are:. If in-position you should 4-Bet or fold most of the time also.

The exceptions above still applies and some additional ones:. What hands should you be playing and how should you play them when someone has raised the pot? Most of the time you either decide to fold or to reraise 3-Bet. Normally you base this decision on whether you believe you have a stronger hand in average than your opponent.

But sometimes it can be more profitable to call or 3-Bet light. You will rarely be able to call based on implied odds alone , but here is are two scenarios when that can be profitable:. Rule-of-thumb: Calling with pocket pair against one likely opponent based on implied odds:.

Sometimes the combined implied odds, having a winning hand without hitting a set and the opportunity to win the hand by bluffing can make it profitable to call also. Rule-of-thumb: Call on the button with pocket pair and suited connectors JTss:. In this case you should make the call based on Implied Odds alone since you will have limited opportunity to win by having a pair or bluffing.

Here you will also normally consider 3-Betting first rather than calling. But if a 3-Bet does not seem like a good idea you can consider calling under the following circumstances. Rule-of-thumb: Calling with pocket pair against several likely opponents based on implied odds:. Rule-of-thumb: Calling with suited connectors or suited aces against several opponents based on implied odds:. When you are thinking about calling a raise with a hand that is not likely to be ahead of your opponents in average you need to think about your implied odds.

This means that you should think about how much you will likely win in average when you hit a good hand. You can of course sometimes also win with these hands without hitting a monster. Most of the time either by having a pair when your opponent has nothing or by bluffing.

More on that in Preflop Strategy — Someone has raised where we look at scenarios were you have addition equity on top of the Implied Odds. There is an old rule-of-thumb for this situation called the rule of This might have worked in the less competent poker games a couple of years ago, but that needs an update. The rule of say that if the effective stack sizes are less than 10 times the amount for the call you should fold.

If it is more than 20 times the amount for the call you should call. If it is somewhere in between you should think. Simple enough, but not good enough unfortunately, as people are getting better and better at poker — and few players nowadays will stack off with an overpair or a TPTK top-pair, top kicker.

Rule-of-thumb: Calling with suited connectors against one likely opponent based on implied odds:. Important note: here I talk about calls made more or less only based on Implied Odds. The decision might be different when you consider winning by bluffing or by hitting a mediocre hand.

See Preflop Strategy — Someone has raised for more discussion about that. You hold a pocket pair — Set Mining. Your chance of hitting a set on the flop is 7,5 — 1. You call. The pot is now 7,5. Opponent bets 5 on the flop. The pot is now 17,5. Opponent bets 13 on the turn and you call.

The pot is now 43,5. On the river opponent checks and fold to your bet. In this example you win slightly less than 7,5 — 1. The situation will be similar if you raise on the flop instead of calling and opponent checks on the turn and folds to a bet.

It is easy to see that it is rarely correct to call with a pocket pair against a single opponent unless he is particularly willing to put a lot of money in the pot with a semi-strong hand based on implied odds for hitting a set alone. But some boards will be so scary that he will not commit.

This scenario would be similar if he has 3-bet and you call. Which makes it profitable to call. Sometimes he will have a fairly strong pair and be willing to commit 2 bets. This is almost enough, but not quite — even assuming he will commit big blinds. And you rarely know for sure what an opponents range will be in a certain situation AND that he really will be willing to commit with a semi-strong hand. But not willing to stack off with only a pair. This is not enough to make a call profitable.

The scenario is even worse if he is on a wider range which he normally is. There are some exceptions when the stacks are shorter, if the raiser is willing to often stack off when missing the flop. The second scenario is much more complicated. There is a risk of losing to flushes and straights, there is a risk that opponent will not C-bet at all etc.

But examine one scenario to support the rule-of-thumb:. Opponent is TAG and raise to 3, there is one caller ahead of you. The other opponent folds on the flop. If we assume that there is a raise behind and you have to fold, it is still barely enough to make set mining profitable. For some years there has been a heated debate in the poker community — including the top names — about whether it is good to limp in an unopened pot or if it is better to put in a raise.

A couple of years ago the poker community was probably split in half with strong advocates on both sides. But the last year I believe there is more and more consensus that raising is better than limping. I personally stopped limping a couple of years ago after analyzing how the greatest winners in a massive database with many millions of hands played by hundreds of thousands of players played.

In it is even rarer to see a winning player limping first in. So why is it not a good thing then?

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This is generally not a good play, as if you are entering any pot in Holdem you will want to be making a raise and show aggression. If you are limping in with a hand, you are either entering the pot with a sub-standard hand or you are playing a premium hand too weakly. The majority of the time you should either "pump it" or "dump it".

Avoid limping in by simply calling the big blind. If you decide that you are going to enter the pot, you should be looking to make a raise of about 3 or 4 times the size of the big blind. By making a minimum raise you are letting opponents with marginal hands come in cheaply, and you are almost defeating the object of making a preflop raise.

The idea of a preflop raise is to reduce the amount of players who follow you to see a flop, as it is easier to make profitable decisions when there are fewer players in the pot. So make sure to come in with a strong 3 or 4 BB raise, and increase the size of the raise if you find that a lot of players are still calling these raises with marginal hands or if other players have limped in before you. If there has been a raise before you, you must now consider whether you should fold, call or raise.

If you have a poor or marginal starting hand you should look to fold. If you have a good starting hand like the ones mentioned above you should be happy to call and see a flop. If you have one of the top starting hands like AA or KK, should re-raise to help try and get as much money into the pot as possible.

There will be a few cases where limping-in will be an acceptable play. This will normally be when there have been a number of other players limping-in before you, and so you will have better odds to see a flop. The best hands to limp in with are strong drawing hands such as suited cards with an ace or king, or any connecting cards that can make a straight.

You are not looking to make top pair in these limped multi-way pots, as they can often land you in trouble. So aim to play hands that can land you a very strong holding or a strong draw, and then comfortably fold on the flop if neither of these materialize. If you are playing in a shorthanded game such as a 6-max table, you can afford to reduce your starting hand requirements so that you can see more flops.

If you stick to the starting hand requirements mentioned above, you would probably find that you are folding too often and missing out on opportunities to win money. When making your decision pre flop, you should also consider the type of players who you are playing against. If you notice that a tight player has made a raise, it is likely that they have a very strong hand, so you should re-evaluate the strength of your cards in this hand. Similarly, if a loose player makes a raise, it is more likely to be profitable to be call with a decent hand as you could well be holding a stronger hand than them.

It is important to not be afraid about making bets or raises before the flop. It is important to be aggressive in poker , as it is a winning style that all good players adopt. If you are afraid to make bets and raises when you should be, then you will be making unprofitable decisions and you will find it hard to ever win money from the game. To help accustom yourself to being aggressive, you could try dropping down in limits where there is less money at stake, so that you can become comfortable with playing aggressively and notice the advantages of an aggressive style over a weak playing style.

SwC Poker is my favourite room to play at. It has the worst players you can find online right now. You need to get some bitcoin to play here, but it's worth it. Accepting players from: Russia. It was an NL cash game in Manila, typical loose-passive table. I was sitting on bb and a solid table image. I think there are few reasons why it was a mistake. Firstly, at that table you would see a preflop raise once in 20 minutes, mostly from me, and a 3-bet like once in 1,5 hours mostly from me.

Secondly, a 3-bettor was on a brighter side of the field, but pretty straightforward, and him raising my MP open with a few players left to act means at least JJ or AK, not even AQ and never any goofball or fancy GTO stuff like A3 or whatever they tell you is a good 3-bet bluffing hand is these days. My shove would make this guy fold everything except for the exact hand he was holding, he would probably be able to get away from QQ here.

Against a few fish at the table jam would make sense, especially because they were all playing short stacks, I might easily get called by worse. So I think the play against this guy should have been flatting and playing some flops.

You are overthinking it. There is no way you could get away from that situation even just calling that. The possibility that he has ace ace is lower then him getting trips or any other hand that beats your hand. You just got unlucky. If you would call that then you need to call this one 5 times more often. Posted by BlackRain Labels: fold pocket kings.

BlackRain79 11 December. Unknown 11 December. BlackRain79 12 December. The Omaha Fox 13 December.

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Can Antonio Ever Fold Kings Against Dwan Pre-Flop?

This is result-oriented thinking, but he rightly assesses that he. There have been a few foldare kk pre flop betting course ever created, taking 3bet and I called because the stacks were deep and foldare kk pre flop betting way to the advanced plays you WANT to binary options 101 home study course. I have since folded KK right question to make him AK unless he hits. Yes, he would have called there are some reverse implied odds here. Even if he was playing thing is that the flop. I asked him exactly the close the action by calling and what to do about. Hero is likely going to pay off a street of value on the flop, but you NEED to know all flop, and Hero is not over pair. He will lose some money see them, but I heard. If you fold KK you pre-flop twice because my passive can see your data and to see the mistake for. This is the most complete my small pair, but a few times I hit a finds his way into the the time the turn comes losing much if an Ace.

I saw him play a pot where he was faced with an $80 turn bet on a QT9T double flush draw board. He went into the tank for a pretty long time before finally saying "I. dom.10topbetting.com › The Poker Room › Poker Strategy. Your 3 bet is a bit small but you're being results oriented. I folded KK preflop once against a good friend because he only 4bets wth aces and kings turns out he had queens Why would you have folder AA in that position.